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RUSSELL MARTIN'S CAPTAIN'S BLOG

15 November 2014


Frustration. This was my answer when asked recently what the players felt about our recent run of form. 


We have had a disappointing set of results over the last month, and we are all unhappy at not having more points on board, building on what was a fantastic start to the season - a start which both inside and outside of the club raised people's expectations of our team.

We never got carried away with ourselves, nor did we become complacent. We have played well in a lot of the games and performance levels on the whole have been good enough, apart from Middlesbrough away.  I feel such performances would be worthy of winning games in this league nine times out of ten, however we have been unfortunate in that any little mistake we have made seems to have been punished.
 
Perhaps we have over committed bodies going forward in the search for goals and been caught out on the counter attack? This has been the case against Leeds, Rotherham, Fulham and again at Nottingham Forest on Saturday. As the manager said, this can't go on and is unacceptable. We need to find the balance that works without sacrificing our desire to entertain and win football matches. 

Now is not a time to panic nor look for excuses or people to blame. From outside the camp I'm sure people will look in and try to work out why things haven't gone as well for us recently. We will continue to analyse (as we do after every game) and we will work hard to make sure we do better and get our campaign back up and running. 
We are a team, a club, a collective, and win, lose or draw we do it together. I ask our fans to do the same and keep believing because come May 2015 we could be looking back on a special season in which this period was nothing but a blip.

Wherever I play, I’m happy
 

Apparently there have been some debates over my position on the pitch. Our fantastic media team informed me of this after the Middlesborough game as I am not on social media and tend to stay away from match reports etc. I am honest with myself  and know when I've played well and when I haven't so  I don't need reminding from the media, social or other. However my dad calls after every game, and as my biggest fan and critic his can be the hardest analysis to take, but take it I have to!  

Middlesborough away certainly fell in the latter category for me and others so I was prepared for the usual fallout of a heavy defeat and an unacceptable team performance (certainly after the first 30 mins). 

I am happy with my form before and up to that game and for me there is no debate to be had; if the manager picks me at centre-back I play there and if he picks me at right back I play there. It will be the same if he picks me to sit on the bench at any point, I will sit there. I will play anywhere I'm asked. He picks the team on merit and picks a team to win the game on any given day. 

I feel comfortable playing in both positions in this league just as I did in the Premier League. I play at centre back internationally and have kept my place in the team for the last 18 months playing against some of the world's best strikers and thoroughly enjoying it. I have spoken before about having a preference and seeing CB as somewhere I will end up playing regularly as I feel it will prolong my career at this high level as the demands on a modern day full back get higher and higher. 

This doesn't mean however that I won't play right back or will ever refuse to, I enjoy it there also and over the years have proved what I can contribute in that position. 

For some who (apart form our first season in the Premier League) haven't seen me too much at CB and are used to seeing me get up and down the flank at RB, the position I play may be a big deal, but as long as I'm doing a job for the team and playing well enough for the manager to pick me it doesn't concern me at all. 

Christmas Jumpers
 

We were recently asked to do a photo shoot for the NCFC Christmas jumper range. Since Kyle Lafferty was in it, they obviously didn't want the six best looking and chose at random.
 
How they found a jumper with sleeves long enough to fit his arms is amazing, and I have come to the conclusion that it must have been a one-off, specially adapted one just for our Laffs!
 

Which has reminded me I need to start doing some Christmas shopping soon otherwise I will be running around Chapelfield on Christmas Eve like I have the last two years with all of the other desperate last-minuters. My first mission: A blue die cast Lightning McQueen.

WATCH: Russ' emphatic headed goal against Leeds



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