Trust factor has been integral to Norwich City’s recent success

Russell Martin of Norwich City in action against Wolves during the Sky Bet Championship match at Car

Russell Martin of Norwich City in action against Wolves during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City captain Russell Martin believes the Championship title tilt is built on tough love.

Martin is one of the few survivors from City's promotion success in 2011 and the Scottish international detects the same camaraderie under Alex Neil which previously carried them to the Premier League.

'There is a lot of trust in the group that you can look around and players know their jobs. It is a special feeling,' he said. 'I don't think every team has that because it is hard to get. Even the ones not in the team at the minute are really pushing because they can sense something good is happening and they want to be a part of it. When you have that in the group it just snowballs.

'I think now if things are said or there are some harsh words it is not personal. The group understand that. Maybe before it was taken that way, but we understand it is for the greater good. If someone gets shouted at it is because we want to win and do better. We are a lot louder with each other on the pitch and communicating and the manager promotes honesty whenever we do our debriefs and game analysis.'

Neil has had a sizeable impact on and off the pitch since his January move from Scotland.


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'He is a good man-manager and he knows how to read the situation, when players need to be told or when they need an arm around the shoulder,' said Martin. 'If he does say something critical it is gone, no grudges, he is doing it for the best of the team. He let it flow when we first came in and picked up a couple of decent results, but after the Brentford defeat it was, 'You've had your chance, we're doing it this way now,' and we have gone from strength to strength. We are extremely well-structured now. There is clarity in how he wants us to play. Everyone knows their jobs and also if they don't do them they won't play.'

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