Martin positive over Norwich

  • Last Updated: August 15 2013, 20:13 BST

Norwich club captain Russell Martin is confident Chris Hughton's new-look squad have what it takes to hold their own when the Barclays Premier League campaign begins again this weekend.

Russell Martin: Belives Norwich will have another fine season in the Premier League
Russell Martin: Belives Norwich will have another fine season in the Premier League

Hughton has been quick to bring in plenty of attacking reinforcements during the summer - including club-record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel in an £8million deal from Sporting Lisbon along with former Celtic frontman Gary Hooper - who could be in contention against Everton on Saturday after scans revealed no major damage to his knee and shin having been taken off on a stretcher in the friendly with Panathinaikos.

The Canaries struggled for consistency in the final third of the season, after being unbeaten through 10 games since October.

Eventually wins over West Brom and then at Manchester City on the final day saw them clear of the relegation dogfight and finish in a respectable 11th place.

Scotland defender Martin - who joined the Canaries from Peterborough in Janaury 2010 and helped them win promotion back to the top flight from League One - is confident the team will be able to sustain their form over the whole campaign this time around.

"You never know what to expect at the start of the season, but I am confident," Martin said on Canaries Player.

"We have had a good pre-season and have a good squad, the best since I have been at the club and we will go into it with plenty of positivity."

Martin was one of three Norwich players who represented Scotland in last night's 3-2 defeat by England at Wembley, with Steven Whittaker and Robert Snodgrass also in action against the Three Lions.

The Brighton-born defender feels Gordon Strachan's men can be proud of their efforts.

"It is disappointing (to lose), but it was an amazing game and an amazing experience, with a lot of positives to take," said Martin, who qualifies for Scotland through his father.

"The Tartan Army were amazing, it felt like a home game at times, and we are just dissapointed we did not give them the result they deserved."

Martin, 27, succeeded Grant Holt as Norwich club captain following the striker's summer move to Wigan.

Defender Sebastien Bassong was named as team skipper by Hughton, the Cameroon international having impressed in his debut campaign at the Norfolk club where he was voted player of the season.

The Cameroon international missed the run-in because of a knee injury which needed an operation over the summer.

Bassong, signed from Tottenham in the summer of 2012, admits it will now just be a matter of proving his match fitness.

"I have had surgery and I need a few minutes in training games, but hopefully I will be available next week (at Hull)," the centre-back told Sky Sports.

"I have found it hard and I have been working a lot with a new physio to get us back on track."

Like Martin, Bassong sees no reason why the Norwich cannot push on again in 2013/2014.

"We will try to improve the squad and our game and that's the main target," the 27-year-old said.

"Last year we finished 11th and we want to get around this position again and why not higher?

"The club have added two new faces (in attack, with van Wolfswinkel and Hooper). They are quality players and they are really good lads and have settled in well.

"We all hope we are going to start well."


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