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RUSSELL MARTIN'S CAPTAIN'S BLOG

19 December 2014

For a footballer there is no better feeling than winning matches.

The 5-10 minutes after the whistle has been blown are some of the best you have in football. The crowd cheering you off the pitch, the atmosphere back in the dressing room, the celebrations. It's what we play the game for, that feeling: to be a winner. We have had that the last two matches and want to continue that way.

We have worked extremely hard to get back on track and the last two matches have shown what we are capable of and what it takes in this league to win and be a successful team.

The Wigan game was huge for us after a bitterly disappointing defeat to Reading at home the week before. All week we spoke about getting back to basics and making sure that we worked harder than the opposition in every way: defensively, offensively, in possession and out of possession.

Huddersfield was a different game once their player got sent off. It meant we had to be patient. To start the second half so well with three good goals made it a much easier afternoon and with another clean sheet to boot everyone went home happy.

No one is getting carried away and we will stick to the oldest and truest cliche in football by taking one game at a time but it gives us a really strong foundation to build on over the Christmas period which always tests teams physically and mentally.

The Huddersfield game saw the return of Grant Holt for the first time since he left us and it was great to see him get such a good reception.

A little story from the game - in the last few minutes, me and Holty were running down the line and I slid for the ball whilst also cheekily trying to let my mate know that I was there!

The big man saw what was coming, jumped out of the way - and landed on my ankle at the same time! He's not the lightest fella in the world so I regretted it instantly.

Thankfully we both came out of it unscathed and he was delighted with his chant ringing around the ground at full-time.

Christmas is nearly here and for us players it is a busy one as usual. Fortunately we have a game at home on Boxing Day which means we are able to spend Christmas Day at home with our families and friends, after training of course.

Having a game on Boxing Day also means you can't go all out on the Christmas dinner, sweets, treats and alcohol. We will train on Christmas Day and after that will have to prepare for the game the next day as we always do.

Good Recovery after Boxing Day will be huge as well because there is a game 48 hours later on the 28th away to Reading which will see us travel on the 27th. It is a busy time but I enjoy the festive fixture schedule. I loved going to these games as a fan and if a winter break was ever introduced in this country I hope that these fixtures stay and the break comes early in the New Year.

On behalf of all of the players here, I would like to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Russ

#AskRuss

From Jack Freeman on Facebook – If you could add another rule to football, what would it be?

I wouldn't change the rules of the game at all. I'm a traditionalist and think it works. I don't think any more technology should be introduced. The goal line tech is great but other decisions should be left to the officials as if they don't have to make a decision or it's revised instantly and decisions get changed then we won't have much to talk about as fans!

The main rule change I would introduce would be to support the growth of home grown players but I'm not sure exactly how. I'll get thinking. Good question!

From Matthew McGregor on Twitter – What’s the slowest car you’ve ever driven?
 
The clear winner is my first ever car. A 1997 yellow Citroen Saxo Scandal. I loved it even though it was ridiculed on a daily basis. It had all sorts of problems and was on its way out when fortunately one of the other players at Wycombe reversed into it with their jeep in the car park accidentally and wrote it off. Slower than Holty was on a Monday morning in training!

From Karl Jokat on Facebook - Will Scotland qualify for a major championship in the next twenty years?

I think we will do it in the next two years so the answer of course is yes. Gordon Strachan has really got us going as a team and we have started the qualifying campaign well giving ourselves a real chance of qualifying for France 2016. Any major tournament would be made better for having the Tartan Army there and cheering their team on.

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