Martins wants permanent move to Birmingham

Birmingham loan signing Obafemi Martins has his heart set on a longer stay at St Andrews as he gets ready to face his old club Newcastle on Tuesday.

The Nigerian striker – on loan from Russian outfit Rubin Kazan – made his debut for Birmingham in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Stoke, and has declared he would like to turn the loan deal into a permanent one.

“Would I like a permanent move? Yes, why not? Birmingham is a big club and the team is doing well,” the 26-year-old said.

“If everything goes well then, of course, I’m going to stay.”

“I was keen to play Premier League football again. It is one of the best leagues in the world.”

“It doesn’t matter to me that Birmingham aren’t the biggest team in this division.”

“They’re not the smallest team either. I wanted to come here and play for them. This is a great opportunity.”

“I just want to fit in as soon as possible, start scoring goals and be happy here.”

“It was good to get in 60-70 minutes on Saturday and I will get sharper and hopefully score the goals that keep Birmingham in the Premier League.”

With Birmingham sitting just three points outside the Premier League’s relegation zone, Martins’ new team-mate Sebastian Larsson believes the club’s run to the Carling Cup final has given them the impetus needed to resurrect their season.

Since sealing a berth in the final against Arsenal on February 27 with a semi-final win over West Ham, Alex McLeish’s side have claimed seven points from a possible nine in the league, and Larsson credits those results to a renewed belief within the squad.

“The Carling Cup has not proved a distraction. In fact, it has really given us a lift, getting through that semi-final,” he said.

“It has been a big boost to the fans, the players, everyone, and we’ve been on a decent run since.”

“Hopefully we will be peaking for the end of month at Wembley. That would be special.”

“It is going to be a massive day for everyone, a fantastic day, and the team on the other side of the pitch (Arsenal) aren’t too bad either so it will be interesting.”

“But we know that for now the focus is on getting away from the bottom of the table.”