City defender in buoyant mood ahead of clash with Reading

NORWICH CITY’s players would rather relish the excitement of the closing stages of the season than be stifled by the fear of a relegation battle, says full-back Russell Martin.

The gap between the Canaries and the bottom three currently sits at just four points, and with five matches to go between now and the end of the campaign, the premium on a victory this weekend against bottom team Reading is seen as high.

Martin believes that any pressure, however, has been over-hyped and that he still fully believes the Canaries will be a Premier League club again next season.

“What’s the point in being nervous?” Martin told Canaries Player, “We’re playing in the best league in the world, against the best players and in the best stadiums,”

“I’m still enjoying it and I’m sure the boys are as well. Other people may look at it and think it’s getting tight, but that just adds a little bit of excitement for the fans.

“For me, I’ve said it all along – we’ll stay up. I still believe that 100%, there’s no doubt in my mind. A win will go a long way to achieving that.”

Martin admits the onus will be on City to make a fast start against Reading after going behind in the last game at Carrow Road against Swansea City.

“Saturday we’re expecting to win, and most people outside will expect that too, but Reading are a good side,” he added.

“They’re going to carry a threat, for sure, but I think Saturday for me is about us. It’s about looking what we can do and the ways we can hurt them.

“Any game at home we go into it expecting to put in a good performance and to win the game. Let’s go and concentrate on what we’re good at and the way we play and hopefully impose our game on the other team.”

He also hopes that a raucous home crowd can carry the team over the line, recalling an occasion where he and his team-mates felt the full force of the Carrow Road support.

“It’s been the case in a few games over the years. I think back to one in the Championship when we played Derby at home – it was one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever played in.

“Hopefully we’ll come out of the blocks on Saturday and give them something to cheer about, and everyone can get behind each other and we’ll move a step closer to staying up.”

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