“Too many lads gave up” blasts angry Norwich City captain Russell Martin after thrashing at Brighton
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Dejected, angry, upset, exasperated: just a few of the words that could be used to describe captain Russell Martin in the wake of Norwich City's horrendous 5-0 defeat at Brighton.
The defender was in no mood to pull his proverbial punches, emerging quickly from the visitors' dressing room with adrenalin clearly still pumping through his veins.
'Too many lads gave up, it's as simple as that,' Martin blasted. 'We need to take an honest look at ourselves. We keep getting told we're Premier League players and all that, but it counts for nothing if you can't fight and you can't win a battle. We didn't win a battle all over the pitch, simple as that.
'First half we're okay, they didn't have much, but to capitulate like that in the second half is humiliating and if it doesn't hurt people enough then they need to look at themselves, as simple as that.
'We need to bounce back. We have been here before. Some words have been said and there will be some more words in the week, that's for sure, but we need to bounce back.'
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The 30-year-old has had to speak on behalf of the Canaries dressing room in such circumstance on too many similar occasions during his 273 games with the club.
The capitulation at the Amex Stadium was far more painful than results such as the 7-0 humbling at Manchester City or the 5-1 thrashing at Liverpool during City's struggles in the Premier League.
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This was a defeat that left Martin to openly question whether some of his team-mates are up for the fight – having made his thoughts clear in the dressing room.
'I certainly said my piece, the manager did, but it's got to mean something, it's got to be acted upon,' the Scotland international continued. 'It's as simple as that because you can accept a defeat at times, if you've given everything and if you've performed as well as you possibly can. I think we've done that for 60 minutes; after that I don't think we have if I'm being honest.'
Asked about the initial response to those harsh words, Martin replied: 'No one can respond, we've lost 5-0, it's as simple as that, there's not one person who can stand up and answer back.
'People have to stand up and express their opinion, but I couldn't tell you what the response was. The only response we need to give now is on the football pitch.'
The pain of the performance was still etched across the face of the Brighton-born former Seagulls youth player, as thoughts turned to Saturday's crucial Championship clash with Leeds at Carrow Road.
'It always hurts, maybe it's because I had a bit more on it – I had a lot of family in the crowd,' he added. 'I'm embarrassed, I don't want to have to stand here, but I have to as captain of the club and now part of my role next week is to make sure that we get lads ready to respond and bounce back.'