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26 May 2015

City skipper hails team spirit

RUSSELL Martin spoke of his pride at leading Norwich City back into the Premier League with a famous Wembley victory in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final on Monday.

A 2-0 win over Middlesbrough ensured the Canaries made an immediate return to the top-flight, following relegation at the end of last season.

The City skipper rounded off a memorable campaign in style by lifting the play-off winners' trophy, and after the match admitted: "It feels amazing, and to do it the way we have with this bunch of guys is the ultimate.

"For me, this tops everything that's happened at this football club since I've been here. To lead a team out at Wembley, then to lead them up the steps to collect a trophy in front of 40,000 Norwich fans, is the proudest moment of my career.

"I don’t think it will ever be topped. You dream about that kind of stuff as a kid, and just talking about it makes me emotional.

"After last year, this feels like redemption. We've got through everything as a team, and the Club feels more together than ever.

"It's testament to the lads we've got back to the Premier League."

The outcome of the contest was settled early on, with Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond both finding the net in quick succession within the opening 15 minutes.

Redmond's strike came at the end of a flowing team move, and Martin added: "It was as an accomplished performance as we've had for a long time.

"You only have to look at the quality of the goals to see how well we moved the ball. It was a pleasure to watch at times, having gone into thorough detail about how the match was going to go.

"Middlesbrough have had a good season, but credit to the boys for the guts they showed in their approach to the game. I'd have hated to be in their position, and we easily could have been.

"After getting the goals, it was all about staying switched on at the back. To end the season with a clean sheet at Wembley and promotion is amazing."

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