Martin likes to keep it personal

LEE Martin is like a player reborn, and it’s all down to the personal touch.

LEE Martin is like a player reborn, and it’s all down to the personal touch.

Ipswich Town’s flying winger has been a revelation since his return from a loan spell at Charlton, to work under new Town boss Paul Jewell.

“Frozen out” at times by previous boss Roy Keane, ex-Manchester United wide man Martin has played a key role in Town’s run of three straight league wins. He and Town are gunning for a fourth on the bounce at Barnsley tomorrow.

“The manager (Jewell) has been praising me, which has made me feel more welcome,” enthused Martin yesterday.

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“Some people need an arm around them and a pat on the back, which is important.

“Sometimes I need that, and I think the manager knows how to play the cards with me.

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“Last season I struggled for confidence. I was in and out of the team, but the time I spent on loan (at Charlton for six months) did me the world of good.

“I think having a manager now who believes in me is the most important thing.

“I’m sure the previous manager (Keane) believed in me, but I had only limited opportunities. It was difficult to know what was going to happen, but I did know one thing – I was not wanted in the summer and I was on the transfer list,” added Martin, who commanded a �1.6m fee on his move to Portman Road from Old Trafford.

Martin has been playing wide on the right in a five-man Town midfield in recent outings, after clocking up 20 appearances in League One with Charlton. His confidence has risen from rock-bottom to sky-high.

“You want to go out there and prove that you are good enough, and I got that opportunity at Charlton,” explained Martin.

“I was part of the team there. There was no pressure on me and there was no expectation.

“If you are doing something wrong, in your line of work, you need to be told, rather than be frozen out or told this and that. There was always a pat on the back (from then-Charlton boss Phil Parkinson) when you did things well, but also a comment of “you’re not doing the right stuff” when things went wrong. We had our disagreements, but there was always that mutual respect.

“The expectation was there at Ipswich, and I probably didn’t live up to it, but to be totally pushed to one side and not told, I found the hardest thing.

“That was the way the previous manager worked and, like it or lump it, you had to respect it. For me, it didn’t work, but for others he probably got the best out of them,” added Martin.

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