City defender hoping to take a step closer to Wembley

SCOTTISH international Russ Martin has made no secret of his desire to advance to the Capital One Cup Semi-Finals at the expense of Aston Villa at Carrow Road on Tuesday night.

The centre-half made a winning return away to Swansea City in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday, after a frustrating spell on the side-lines with a back injury.

Chris Hughton’s side now take on former City manager Paul Lambert’s Villa in the last eight in a 7.45pm kick off, and Martin is hoping that victory can see him one step closer to achieving his dream of reaching the final at Wembley.

Martin told Canaries Player: “Every lad wants to play there in a cup final, it’s what you aspire to, and especially when you come into professional football, you set yourself goals - one of mine is to play at Wembley in a cup final.

“The way we see it is that we’re three games away. We might never get a better chance, but we’ve got a good side here and the lads all see it as a massive opportunity to reach that cup final, and they all want to play – they’re chomping at the bit. 

“We’re one game away from being in the semi-finals and from then on in it’s anyone’s.”

It was against Aston Villa in the league back in November that Martin picked up his back injury, which forced him off at half time, a period he admits was difficult.

He revealed: “It’s very nice to be back involved again. It was six weeks from injury to playing again, so it wasn’t the longest injury, but for me it was the longest one I’ve had. 

“It was extremely frustrating, because there’s never a good time to be injured, but to be injured at the start of the run we’re on isn’t great. 

“Watching in terms of results is easy but you want to get out there. The lads have been brilliant and to come back into a side that’s full of confidence and doing extremely well makes it a lot easier obviously and it was a fantastic result against Swansea.

“We would have preferred it to be a bit more boring than that after half time to be honest, but that’s the way it happened. 

“Whenever we play against them it’s always a tough task but we showed character at 3-2 when people were probably expecting 3-3 or 4-3 to them. 

“Then Snoddy [Robert Snodgrass] went up the other end and put a great free kick in and we’ve just about seen it out.

“The first half was just a pleasure to be involved in really. People have said we’re not getting enough goals, but it was a display of clinical finishing.”

On the return of former boss Lambert to Carrow Road for the first time Martin added: “He’s a really good man-manager and I’m sure he’ll get them [Villa] going. 

“He’s doing a good job there and I’m sure it will continue. 

“He’s moved from Norwich now, and that’s football. Managers players, and people move on. I’m sure Norwich fans appreciate the job that he’s done, but we’ve moved on and we’ve got a fantastic manager in Chris Hughton at the football club now.

“I think regardless of who we’re playing, in the form we’re in, we fancy our chances. 

“Especially at Carrow Road, because against the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, we made it hard for them to come here, and if we carry on the level of performance we’ve had, it’ll be a tough place for people to come.”

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