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RUSSELL MARTIN: WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS

7 August 2015

City captain on Premier League opener

NORWICH City captain Russell Martin is relishing the prospect of leading his side out at Carrow Road in the Barclays Premier League once more ahead of their opening day meeting with Crystal Palace on Saturday (3pm).

The Canaries begin their top-flight campaign at home to Alan Pardew's Eagles, having completed a return to the division via a memorable Sky Bet Championship play-off final triumph at Wembley Stadium in May.

Martin is eager to build on the momentum of last season's success, and told the media at Colney Training Centre on Friday morning: "This is what we worked hard all last year for, and the lads are really looking forward to it.

"We can't face it with any trepidation or fear. We have to go and enjoy it, because we're a Premier League club now.

"Our team spirit is really strong, and we've had a good pre-season. The atmosphere is going to be rocking and hopefully we can do ourselves justice by starting off with a victory.

"It's going to be a tough game for us, but we'll be prepared. We have to make sure we perform for 90 minutes, and if we do that we're confident of picking up a good result."

Having formed part of the team relegated to the second tier at the end of the 2013-14 campaign, the 29-year-old is determined not to suffer the same fate again.

Martin believes City are better equipped this time around, and added: "We have a stronger team than we had the last time we were in the Premier League, so now it's down to us to take advantage.

"We've got to have diversity in our play. We need to have a few plans up our sleeve, and with this manager we will.

"One of his main strengths is analysing the opposition to get us ready for each game, which will be no different this season. For us, in terms of preparation and being tactically ready, it will be exactly the same.

"We'll be looking to enjoy the season by having a right go at it. It's important not to get too high or too low, but we know we've got all the ingredients to have a good year."

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