How wingers won the day for Murray return

Glenn Murray says the quality of Brighton's wingers was a key factor in him returning to the club this summer.

Friday, 5th August 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:44 am
Glenn Murray in action against Lazio. Picture: Paul Hazlewood

The 32-year-old scored 56 goals in 136 appearances in his first spell with the club, including 22 goals when the Seagulls won the League One title in the 2010-11 season.

After spells with Crystal Palace, Reading on loan and Bournemouth, Murray re-joined Brighton on a season-long loan from the Cherries last month.

He admitted watching a number of Albion games on television last season and believes Brighton’s wide men will aid his game with quality crosses into the penalty area.

He said: “It was definitely an easy decision to come back. From the outside, I looked at the wingers and the way they attack. The move here was very much based on that. We’re blessed with wingers, Anthony Knockaert, Kazenga LuaLua, Jamie Murphy, Jiri Skalak and Solly March coming back. They’re all great wingers and will deliver good quality into the box.

“We play with wingers on the opposite sides so they always come in and cross, which is a little bit different but I’m learning all the time and enjoying it.”

After just missing out on promotion last season, Murray hopes Albion can go one better this campaign and said: “As professionals, we all want to get to the Premier League and it would be a fantastic achievement.

“The squad is very motivated. Missing out the way they did last year means they want to put the wrongs right and hopefully we’ll do that this year.

“A club of this size and infrastructure should be challenging at the top of the Championship and that’s exactly what we aim to do.”

Brighton began last season with a 22-game unbeaten run and although Murray says it is important to get off to a good start, the same record-breaking run is not a target: “I don’t think we’re striving to meet that or anything. We just need to collect points as often as possible and as many as possible. If that is four wins and a loss, then we’ll take that.

“Last year it was a special year for the club but the unbeaten run hasn’t been mentioned. This is a new challenge and we won’t be aiming to beat that.”

With speculation linking the likes of Knockaert, Dale Stephens and Lewis Dunk with moves away from the Amex, Murray feels it is vitally important to keep the bulk of the squad together.

He added: “It’s extremely important and if you want to challenge at the top of the Championship, you need to keep those better players.

“You look at the Premier League teams that have come down and they’ve done well with keeping their better players and it’s extremely important that we do that.”

Albion begin the new Championship season away to Nigel Pearson’s Derby County on Saturday and Murray said: “It will be a very tough ask.

“They’ve got a new manager and they’ll all be out to impress in a home game to start with.

“It doesn’t get any tougher so bring it on, because that’s what we have got to deal with every week in the Championship.”

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