Martin’s quest to prove doubter wrong
LEE Martin goes into today’s Championship game at Oakwell against Barnsley (kick-off 3pm) having gone some considerable way to proving a point.
After arriving at Ipswich Town amid high expectations from Manchester United in the summer of 2009, the 24-year-old found himself languishing in the Town reserve side for much of last term.
Since Paul Jewell took over from Roy Keane as Ipswich manager early last month, winger Martin’s lot has increased dramatically and he has played a leading role in the last three league games, which have all been wins.
“Yes, there were times last season when I wondered where my career was going,” said Martin.
“I sat down and said to myself that I would prove someone wrong.
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“Given the opportunity and with the right people around me I was determined to work hard and show what I can do.
“Since going on loan to Charlton I’ve had that opportunity, and I’d like to think that I’ve turned things around.
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“I have always been self willed and determined to do well both individually and collectively.”
When Martin was taken on by Manchester United he had the football world at his feet but a series of loan moves and an unsuccessful first year at Portman Road combined to put his career under some threat.
Looking back Martin says that he is a better player to have come through the ‘pain’.
He went on: “I am a better player and a more mature person.
“I never had a run of games to understand the Championship. I know now what is required on a Tuesday night at Doncaster say.
“That an ambitious back flick or the like is not on the menu.”
Keane’s method of man management obviously did not suit Martin with Jewell’s way of doing things much different with the new boss recalling Martin from a season-long loan at League One Charlton soon after taking the Town job.
“The manager (Jewell) has been praising me, which has made me feel more welcome,” added Martin.
“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.
“The time I spent on loan at Charlton for six months did me the world of good.
“I’m sure the previous Ipswich manager 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.
“You want to go out there and prove that you are good enough, and I got that opportunity at Charlton.
“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.
“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.
“The then Charlton manager and his assistant Tim Breaker watched me play for Ipswich against Tottenham last pre-season and told me afterwards that I was not the same player they recognised from before and that they were prepared to work with me.
“And it’s worked and with the right support I’ve always believed that my natural ability will come out.”