RUSSELL MARTIN has witnessed more than enough over the past couple of months to tell him that Alex Neil is destined to go all the way to the top.

In the immediate term, he sees his new manager taking Norwich City into the Barclays Premier League. The East Anglian club are now just three points off the top of the Skybet Championship following a remarkable run of form that has seen them take 10 wins and three draws from the Scot's 15 games in charge.

Neil is capable of much more than just winning promotion from the second tier, though.

Club football is such a fickle business that it can be difficult to predict a career trajectory with certainty, but there is one arena and one particular job which Martin believes Neil would be perfectly suited to in the mid to long-term future.

"I can see him as a future Scotland manager, for sure," said the 29-year-old centre-back. "I'm sure he will have aspirations to manage at the highest level and he has all the attributes.

"He's doing really well in the Championship. I think we'll go up, but, even if we don't, his stock will continue to rise.

"He's extremely young, so, if he does want to be Scotland manager one day, I'm sure it will be well into the future.

"He has been very impressive at Norwich, though, and has made a big impact.

"He's changed the mentality of the place and brought a different attitude to the team."

Martin concedes, however, that the decision of the board at Carrow Road to place their faith in a relatively unknown 33-year-old from Hamilton Academical did result in a few eyebrows being raised and heads being scratched within the club back in January.

That was put to bed after one meeting. Neil hit the place like a whirlwind, laid down the law in no uncertain terms and left the room with the respect of the squad.

Martin insists the level of transparency with which he has continued to deal with the players has been the bedrock of his success.

"At first, because of where he's come from and his age, some of the lads were maybe a bit cautious," conceded Martin. "However, he's impressed everyone because he's a leader and that's what we needed.

"For a few people, there was a sense of: 'Who is this guy?'

"That all went in the first meeting. In football, people judge too much on who you are and where you have been before. In reality, it should be about the here and now.

"Alex was just brutally honest. He'd watched all the videos of the games and knew how we'd been playing.

"He just told us straight that we were good players, but were underachieving.

"He also said a few other things which I can't repeat, but he got his message across.

"It was made clear that we had a few weeks to prove ourselves to him and that it would be up to us.

"He let us have a couple of games, doing the same things as we'd been doing before, and then he said: 'Right, you've done it your way. Now it's my way'.

"He has been really honest with the lads. He's up front and, when he makes a decision, you respect it.

"He's not wishy-washy about it. He'll tell you why you're not playing and the reasons behind it.

"We were a group of individuals before, but it's now all about the team."

Martin, as club captain, has also developed a solid bond with Neil. He has become a confidant and has been impressed and encouraged by his new manager's willingness to seek the opinions of senior players

"He pulls me aside at times, as the captain of the team, to speak about things," said Martin.

"He's been really good for me as it's clear he wants an open relationship with his captain.

"He's asked my opinion and it helps because I totally believe in the way he wants to play.

"He's taken my opinions on board and those of the other senior players.

"He wants to have standards. You come away to the international squad and the standards should be high. The manager here with Scotland is big on it as well.

"Managers tend to look at senior players to get that implemented and it's good to have that relationship.

"We know what to expect at Norwich and we know what to expect at Scotland.

"Players like things being in black and white. They like to know what they are being asked to do."

Hamilton always played with a real intensity when Neil was in charge. It is an approach that he has transferred to the English game with no lack of reward.

"In the past, we focused too much on when we had the ball, but didn't do enough when we didn't have it," said Martin. "That has changed now. Teams don't enjoy playing against us.

"We have good players, but we didn't do enough. I think we're back to where we were when Paul Lambert was in charge."

Martin, born in Brighton to a Scottish father, could not be happier with the way things are developing both at club and international level.

He hopes to add to his 15 caps in the upcoming matches with Northern Ireland and Gibraltar and carry on what is threatening to become a season of great cheer.

"There are a lot of similarities about how the manager at Norwich wants us to play and how we do things at Scotland," he said.

"The gaffer was asking me about the Scotland set up just last week. He was asking about some of the things we do when we meet up for international duty.

"He believes a lot of the same ideas as Gordon Strachan does and, for me, things are positive for club and country right now."