New City signing Russell Martin has admitted he wants to make his stay in Norfolk permanent after an assured debut on Tuesday night.
The right-back came in for Jon Otsemobor for the 3-0 success at Southend as Paul Lambert sought to freshen up his starting XI. And while the on loan Peterborough man revealed he wasn’t expecting to debut so soon, he’s already been bitten by the Canary bug.
“For me, even seeing the club for a week, the facilities and the lads, yes I definitely want to stay,” he told BBC Radio Norfolk after the Roots Hall clash.
“The club’s massive; the fans that came down tonight were brilliant. I’m looking forward to playing at Carrow Road in front of such a big crowd and if the fans are like this away from home at Southend, it’s unbelievable to think what they can be like at home.
“I thought I might have to wait a little bit longer for my debut because the boys have been doing really well. But I only found out in the dressing room just before.
“That’s how the gaffer does it. But as soon as I knew I was starting, I knew what I had to do and we got a great result.
“It was good, really enjoyable. I just wanted to get out there and play and thankfully we kept a clean sheet, which is all you can ask for as a defender, and we scored three good goals, three great finishes.”
He did admit, however, that there were some aching limbs by the end, with Martin short of first team action in recent weeks. But you would like to think that plenty of adrenalin got him through the 90 minutes – especially now the 23-year-old has been reunited with his former Wycombe boss.
“My legs were a bit tired towards the end because I haven’t played in about four weeks. It’s a lot different to reserves and training.
“But it’s a pleasure to play in the team. They want to play football. The gaffer wants us to play the right way, wants us to bomb forward but at the same time defend.
“That’s the way I played last year with Peterborough. We went up playing like that. There are going to be times where you lose the ball, but they’re very organised and there is lots of communication.
“As soon as the Carlisle game went, the gaffer had a meeting with us and he said: ‘The good teams always bounce back’. I think we showed it was a one-off at Carlisle.”
Meanwhile, Lambert’s opposite number Steve Tilson had a touch of the sour grapes after the contest, claiming that the 3-0 scoreline flattered the Canaries. The Shrimpers had chances of their own – most notably through Lee Barnard and the lively Jabo Ibehre – but it’s goals that win games and the Norfolk club always looked the most likely to find the net.
“If I’m being honest I think even 2-0 would have flattered them. We were right in the game,” said Tilson, speaking to the Southend Echo.
“Two goals in a 10 minute spell killed us in the end. But we had chances and on another night we could have scored three goals ourselves.
“Lee Barnard has gone close, so has Jabo Ibehre and I’m not too sure why our goal was disallowed either. If it’s for handball then I have no idea how the referee has seen it from where he is.”
But he was gracious enough to admit that the Canaries would be in the mix come May. And if they were to finish in the automatic promotion spots and return to the Championship at the first time of asking, Tilson will not be surprised.
“Norwich are a very good side. I think they will be in the top two come the end of the season,” added the Shrimpers stalwart.
“They played some good football but we matched them. The lads worked tirelessly for 90 minutes but it was that extra bit of quality at the end that’s killed us.
“They have quality in the right areas and I would expect them to be up there challenging all season. We now need to stick together and keep working hard to try and pick up more points.”
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