Lee Martin has been sent to Coventry – and he couldn’t be happier!

LEE Martin has been sent to Coventry – and he couldn’t be happier!

Ipswich Town take on the Championship’s rock-bottom club today in a match which could have a big say in both team’s relegation battles. Martin says he and the Blues’ ‘hungry’ new-look side go into the game with no trepidation following Tuesday night’s thumping 5-1 win over table-toppers West Ham though.

In fact, the 24-year-old is just delighted to be back in the first team fold having been completely out in the cold for the reverse fixture little over four months ago – a game Town won comfortably 3-0.

“I was at home watching it on TV that day,” recalls Martin, who was serving the last game of a three-match suspension following his red-card in the 7-1 horror show at Peterborough.

“I’d been made to train with the youth team as punishment, the boys had just put in a superb performance and I was sat there thinking it was a long way back for me to hold down a regular first team spot.”

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Martin got his head down though, trained hard and impressed manager Paul Jewell with his reaction. Even a freak eye injury suffered while playing golf did not hold him back for long and today he’ll line up as the focal attacking point of the Blues’ midfield for the fifth game in succession.

Indeed, Town’s side will be barely recognisable from the one which beat Coventry last time out, with a host of youngsters and fringe players having replaced Jewell’s under-performing star names.

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“Football can change quickly,” said Martin. “I’d been out the team previously with Roy (Keane). Had it been my first time it would have perhaps been more difficult, but this time I managed to keep my head when maybe before I would have lost it.

“I just tried to create a positive out of a negative. I worked really hard and the result is that I have now got to the best condition I think I’ve been in my career.”

Speaking of Town’s new-look side, he added: “We’re hungry. We’ve got players in there that haven’t played a lot of football, they’ve come into the team and have a point to prove. None more so than me. I know I haven’t played a lot of football for my age – I’ve made something like 80 starts and I’m 25 next week.

“I’m trying to catch up. I’m keen to learn, desperate to improve and just really enjoying myself.”

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