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Club News


30 January 2015

Russell Martin's Captain Blog, with Fosters Solicitors

Russell Martin’s Captain’s Blog is brought to you by Norwich City’s legal partner, Fosters Solicitors

IN FOOTBALL, things can change very quickly.

We now have a new manager at the Club to try and move us on up the league. Whenever there is a change of at any club, it will evoke a whole host of different emotions from player to player.

It is up to the more senior players in the dressing room and the staff still in place to make sure that everyone stays professional and focused on achieving results during this period.

This was the case in the build up to the Bournemouth game, where we produced one of our best team performances of the season.

Since then, the gaffer has come in and is instilling in us the style of football he wants us to play. This can take time and he has spoken to all of the players about what he wants and with clarity, so that whoever is picked knows what is expected of them when they step onto the pitch.

Training has been really focused on the areas the managerial team think we need to work on to achieve better consistency for this final third of the season.

That's what has let us down up to now: consistency. The teams at the top of any league are the most consistent. We have too often followed good performances and results with mediocre ones or played well but not achieved the result.

This needs to improve as we head towards the business end of the season when a number of things can affect teams throughout the league. Pressure, injuries, suspensions etc. will all play their part and the team that copes the best mentally with everything going on at this stage will prevail.

We are aware of this and we have a lot of players in the squad who have been in this league and in this situation before, which counts for a lot and will have an important say in how our season ends up.

The rest of the players and I all still believe we are capable of achieving what we have set out to do. Now it's up to all of us to stick together, remain positive and let our football do the talking. At times as players and as a club this season we have had our highs too high and our lows too low. Now is a time to remain calm, steady and try to enjoy what happens between now and May.

The magic of the FA Cup is still alive! Despite what some say, the FA Cup is still the best domestic cup competition in football.

Bradford’s win must go down as one of the all-time great cup upsets, but another result that made people stand up and take notice was Cambridge's 0-0 draw against Manchester United.

Our very own Cameron McGeehan played and was outstanding in the heart of the Cambridge midfield in front of ex-Canary Michael Nelson.

It's great to see some of our young players go out on loan and do so well. Harry Toffolo has played a huge part in Swindon's promotion bid and Jacob Murphy is having another good loan spell, this time at Scunthorpe. Jamar Loza and Carlton Morris are also out on loan and I expect to see them on the scoresheet regularly soon.

The experience they will all gain playing first team football will be invaluable and will improve them hugely. Other clubs are benefitting from our academy products which is fantastic and we will benefit further on down the line when hopefully they become first team regulars here, which of course has to be their aim.

The darts have come back out at Colney after training, with people getting ready for the annual competition amongst players and staff.

The reigning champion is Steven Whittaker, who beat David Fox to the title last year. This year however he faces some much stiffer competition in the two Garys.

Gaz O'Neil is a jack of all trades when it comes to sports, so much so that even though we haven't seen it at our club, his table tennis skills are much talked about in the football world. Gary Hooper has looked impressive in practice and throws a dart as ruthlessly as he finishes on the football pitch. The outsider is Chris, who is one of the groundsmen. I think he's been practising at home all year ready for his big moment. It's a bit easier for him as he has the second longest arms in the world. Number one is of course Kyle Lafferty!

I will participate and even I, as a big advocate of positive mentality and mindset management, have to be realistic and recognise I have no chance!

Enjoy the month ahead. I hope it brings us plenty of points, goals and enjoyment.

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