Norwich would have beaten Sunderland if Bunn had not been sent off, insists Martin

The defender has lamented the refereeing decision that saw the Canaries go down to 10 men on Sunday, with another debatable call helping the home side equalise from the spot

Russell Martin has insisted Norwich would have beaten Sunderland at the Stadium of Light if goalkeeper Mark Bunn had not been sent off.

The second-choice shot-stopper was judged to have handled the ball outside the box just minutes after the Canaries had taken a first-half lead, and the defender believes the decision changed the game.

"I think if we stay 11 v 11 we go and win the game. Absolutely no doubt," Martin told reporters. "I think we were well on top. The crowd had maybe turned a little bit against them. They were a little bit nervous and the sending off has given them a little bit of a leg up.

"At the time I thought maybe it’s not deliberate by Mark Bunn but the letter of the law says if he handles it outside his area then as the last man, he has got to go and that’s just unfortunate for Mark. He has been brilliant for us and it’s just a tough decision that’s gone against us."

Martin was also irked by the decision to award the penalty from which Craig Gardner equalised after Sebastien Bassong was adjudged to handle a pass destined for an offside Steven Fletcher - but did hail a "massive point" given the circumstances.

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Martin continued: "For me I could see across the whole line and Steven Fletcher is a good couple of yards offside and he’s come back into play.

"I had a chat with the linesman at half-time and he said he wasn’t sure how much he was interfering with play but for me he’s affected how Seb has had to deal with the ball.

"I’m still not sure if it’s hit his arm or not – he doesn’t seem to think it has – but you have that in football. Hopefully it evens itself out over the course of a season, and it’s really tough for the officials. They only have a split second to make a big decision and it didn’t go our way.

"To say that we could get a point before the game we would have taken it, but in the circumstances we got it, to play 60-odd minutes with 10 men, it’s a massive point."