BELIEF was the key factor in ten-man Norwich City securing a 1-1 draw against Sunderland on Sunday afternoon, according to man-of-the-match Russell Martin.
Momentum and fortune looked to be going the hosts' way when first Mark Bunn was sent off for handling outside the penalty area, and then Craig Gardner equalised Wes Hoolahan's opener from the spot.
However, the Canaries rallied after the break and Martin says they fully deserved a share of the spoils for the effort put in after being a man down for two-thirds of the match.
"A few decisions we felt went against us, but the way the boys reacted was great," said the City full-back.
"At half-time we said 'we could win this'. That was the feeling, not just to try and avoid defeat. The concentration you have to have and the determination and belief too. Physically as well as mentally it's such an effort.
"I think the boys will be happy with how they played - if we keep that level of performance up it'll be more than enough (to stay in the Premier League)."
City were forced to cover plenty of ground as they tried to make up for the man disadvantage, and Martin believes the success highlights the strong levels of fitness and commitment in the squad.
"We're a team that's showed that we're full of energy," added the 27-year-old.
"We've got a lot of very fit lads in the team and I think that showed today. It's played a massive part in getting us a point. We've been really competitive and hard to beat this season.
"It's our second year so people have paid us a lot more respect, but we go anywhere, have a go, work extremely hard for each other and hopefully in the end that pays off."
Martin will now join up with Gordon Strachan's Scotland squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Serbia, yet believes City will still be able to take momentum from Sunday's result despite the next Premier League match against Wigan being a fortnight away.
"Just to not get beaten before that break was important, because if you lose and then you have two weeks off is not ideal; you'd rather have a game straight away to put things right," he said.
"This result gives us confidence going into the Wigan game, which will be another big one. We'll go there to win it, but as long you keep them behind you and stop them winning then you'll be alright."