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RUSSELL MARTIN: MILESTONE A PROUD ACHIEVEMENT

21 November 2014

Club captain speaks ahead of meeting with Brighton & Hove Albion

RUSSELL Martin wants Norwich City to use home comforts to reignite their Sky Bet Championship season ahead of a potential 200th competitive appearance for the Canaries against Brighton.

Since signing from Peterborough United in 2009, Martin has become a mainstay in the City back-line as he helped guide the side to successive promotions from League One to the Premier League before enjoying three seasons in the top flight.

Speaking to the media in the build-up to Saturday’s game, he said: “It’s gone quick, but I’m proud. To get to 200 appearances anywhere in this day and age in football is an achievement, especially at a club like this with the success we’ve had over the last few years.

“Hopefully the manager picks me. I’m looking forward to playing; we need to get this place going and turn it into a really hard place to come.

“We need just one result to spark us into top gear again and get us going on a little run like we had at the start of the season. Once we do that, we’ll be right back up there.

“There’s no big panic. We’re not in a position we want to be, but we’re only six points off top.”

Brighton-born Martin also stressed there would be no divided loyalties when he faces up against the team he grew up supporting and represented as an academy player over a decade ago.

“I want them to do well, but not at the expense of us, and certainly not on Saturday. After that I wish them all the best.

“The more you play as a professional you lose an affinity for a team because your affinity lies with the club you’re playing with at that current point. I’ve been here just over five years now and loved it; at this minute in time this is my club and hopefully we’ll go and beat them on Saturday.”

The 28-year-old has had little time to relax since City’s last game courtesy of representing Scotland in high-intensity clashes with the Republic of Ireland and England over the course of the International break.

Such occasions have whetted the versatile defender’s appetite to further test himself against elite-level opposition once more, but Martin knows the domestic requirements for that to become a reality, and added: “The Championship is a really good league but of course when you’re playing against those players it’s the pinnacle.

“The England game was littered with Premier League players, and it’s just that level above. It’s where you want to play, and every player in the dressing room will say the same thing.

“Obviously we [Scotland] were disappointed to lose the last game but now we’re back here so that’s gone and all I’m concentrating on is playing for Norwich. We have to work extremely hard in this league and make sure we’re doing that again next season.”

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