A “consummate professional” is how Graeme Murty described Russell Martin after the experienced defender put pen to paper on a loan deal with Rangers last night.
Gaffer Murty worked previously with Martin at Norwich City, and believes his leadership qualities and standard bearing made him an ideal candidate to become the club’s fourth signing of an already hectic January window.
Speaking to RangersTV, Murty said: “He’s a character and a personality that I know very, very well. He leads by what he does and how he lives his life, and he is a consummate professional.
“We need that. We need strong characters in the group but we also need people who are going to hold others to account if they are not quite at the right standard.
“Not in a bad way or in a way to put people down. I’m not about people pointing out fault for people to make themselves look good.
“I want people who are going to hold others to account to make our practice better and to make others better on a daily basis. I believe Russell can be that kind of guy.
“I wanted to bring in someone that I know has high standards and can drive the standards of the group forward. As I said, I think we need more, better players who make the group better, and we also need people who are able to stand up in a tough changing room in tough circumstances and put forward their view forcefully in order to make us better.
“I think the more people we have like that and the freer they are talking to each other and challenging one another, and maintaining their standards, it’s to the betterment of the group.
“I’ve said to the group all the way through that their top standard and their highest level is not a problem. We’ve seen what their high standard looks like against Aberdeen and against Celtic – we’ve seen what they can do.
“It’s the daily habits and how far they are willing to come away from that top standard in their daily life which will define what we do this season.
“I think the more people we have pushing that standard on a daily basis, the better.”
Martin’s playing attributes also impressed Murty, with his versatility set to be a real asset for the club going forward.
He continued: “He offers stability, he offers experience and he offers a bit of versatility as well as he can play in a three, he can play as a centre-back and he can play as a right-back.
“He’s a steady kind of guy and a good talker. All of those things and all of those attributes add to the collective and add to the group. I’ve said to the players who have the shirt at the moment – they have a responsibility and a duty to make sure they perform well enough to keep it.
“I believe the players who have played have done that at times, but we need to make sure we do it consistently.
“When we do that, I think we will really show how good a team we can be.”
Murty is still pursuing other options to add to his squad, and while nothing is imminent, he is hopeful to have more help on-board for the rest of the season.
He added: “By the end of the window, maybe. Things are ongoing and always ongoing in a transfer window.
“It’s a really, really busy time and I expect people to come and enquire about some of our players and I expect to enquire about other players.
“But, I obviously don’t think it’s right to talk about them until it’s done. Business is going on behind the scenes and work is being done.
“Talks and conversations are being had at a high level. It’s all to the good and it’s so I have as much of a headache as possible come selection time.
“It is a responsibility I don’t think I was ready for. But, looking at it now, I think it is one any manager would relish and should relish. We can move forward and we can be better than we were.”