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Russell Martin enjoys chance to respond to Cardiff abuse

Russell Martin was able to celebrate after being abused by Cardiff fans throughout (Steven Paston/PA)
Russell Martin was able to celebrate after being abused by Cardiff fans throughout (Steven Paston/PA)

Russell Martin enjoyed getting his revenge on Cardiff fans after Southampton stretched their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

Saints boss Martin was subjected to abusive comments by visiting supporters throughout the match.

After celebrating with Saints supporters he displayed four fingers at the Bluebirds fans after the match – in reference to the two back-to-back season doubles he secured against them as Swansea manager.

He said: “I had my time at the end. They had theirs over the 90 minutes so I enjoyed mine for 10 seconds at the end.

“I’m sure there will be people who disagree with that but I choose to feel everything and enjoy that.

“If you want to hammer me for 90 minutes then I’m allowed maybe 10 seconds at the end.”

Southampton claimed a two-goal lead inside 15 minutes thanks to Adam Armstrong’s brace and never looked back.

The striker’s first came at the end of a fine team move as he brilliantly curled into the top corner, before adding his 12th of the campaign by heading in after good work from Stuart Armstrong.

Martin said about his top scorer: “He has so much quality and also a load of attitude. The first goal is quality and the second is his attitude and desire.

“We love him in that dressing room for how he is and how he conducts himself and how he works for the team.

“The goals are a real bonus and he possesses so much quality but it is his intensity he plays at and his willingness to run.”

Southampton threatened to run rampant in the second half but missed a host of chances – with substitute Ryan Fraser failing to add a third despite having six shots.

Martin said: “I’m really happy. I thought we were good today. We started the game so well.

“We should score more goals, that was the only frustration. I thought the lads were incredible in the second half.

“I watched with so much pride and gratitude for what they were doing. It’s been a long week so to produce that level of performance in the second half… [scoring a third goal] wasn’t to be.

“Ryan Fraser has come off the pitch frustrated that he hasn’t scored. It’s not a coincidence that the chances fall to him because he runs at the goal relentlessly.”

Erol Bulut bemoaned Cardiff’s slow start to the match but is looking forward to January to bolster his side to be able to compete with the Championship’s big boys.

“The first 20 minutes was [what went wrong],” he said. “It was not what I was expecting.

“After those 20 minutes we woke up but we were already 2-0 down. We were good but not good enough.

“At the end of the first half if we had scored with [Karlan Grant] I think the second half would be very different.

“We have progressed from the start of the season to today perfectly and we will continue to work hard.

“I hope in the January transfer [window] I can get some quality players in and we can push for more.

“This is the difference between the top level and what we currently have. It is small details.

“We’ve played against relegated Premier League teams, they have quality but they show us where we need to go and how we need to work. We’ll look in January to get to that level.”