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Mar 18, 2013

Martin: Sunderland draw felt like win

Norwich defender Russell Martin has said his side's 1-1 draw at Sunderland on Sunday felt like a win after they were down to ten men for more than an hour.

The Canaries had goalkeeper Mark Bunn sent off after he was adjudged to have handled the ball outside his area following Michael Turner's poor back-header.

But Scotland international Martin said Norwich had shown their mettle by reacting to the adversity to claim a point.

"When we've come into the dressing room, everyone's acting as if it's a win," he explained.

"We felt a few decisions went against us. The way the boys reacted... I think physically it's such an effort as well as mentally, the concentration you've got to have, and the belief.

"At half-time, we said: 'We can win this game.' That was the belief, not to just try and avoid defeat. I think the boys will be happy about how they played.

"We're a team that is full of energy - we've got a lot of fit players, and I think that showed. It played a massive part in us getting a point.

"It feels good to come out in adversity, in a stadium like this in front of so many fans, and know you can dig in and find a way out. The home team getting booed off tells you a lot."

Martin said Norwich, who reached the Premier League last season after back-to-back promotions from League One under Paul Lambert, were focused on maintaining their stay in the top flight.

"We've come a long way in a short space of time," he explained. "The brief was to stay up this season, no matter how we do it.

"People talk about the second season being the toughest one. We found that people have paid us a lot more respect. But we work extremely hard for each other and hopefully, in the end, that pays off."

Martin now joins up with the Scotland squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Serbia.

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