Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes Glenn Murray is a model professional to any young footballer.
The Albion boss met the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s game against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium, and praised the exploits of this season’s top goalscorer.
The forward notched his seventh goal of the season in last weekend’s draw with Leicester City at the Amex, and Hughton told Mark McAdam from Sky Sports that Murray is a shining example to any young footballer.
“His progression and form doesn’t surprise me – but it's unusual for somebody of his age to be regularly fit and scoring at the highest level.
“That’s because of his great desire to keep playing at the highest level possible. It’s one thing saying it but doing it is different – and for us it’s great that he’s doing it.
“He’s always inspiring everyone else in the squad, especially the younger players and that will always happen. Probably more so because of the sacrifices he makes to do it.
“He looks after himself very well and has to work very hard for the team. We can’t afford to have a striker that just wants to score goals – he has to put a shift in and he’s a great example for any young player.”
Faye Carruthers of Premier League Productions then asked Hughton about Bernardo’s man-of-the-match exploits last weekend at the Amex…
“We were very aware of his abilities when he joined and for us it’s about having the most competitive squad we can.
“It’s been difficult for him as a new player – you want to get into the side straight away and after the game against Watford it was difficult.
“But you can react in various ways – he’s knuckled down and he’s a bright lad who recognises that it’s a different way of playing and that he has to adapt.
“Sometimes it does take a little bit longer to do that, but if you’re prepared to work hard during that period of time, there’s always going to be those opportunities. We’re pleased for him, and he’s earned his chance.”
McAdam then got Hughton's thoughts on his side's fortunes so far this term…
“At the moment my assessment of our season is that we can still improve. We’ve had players out injured who can influence our side in different ways.
“The positive aspects from the start of the campaign is obviously our form in October, where we picked up three wins and three clean sheets in the process – that’s huge in this division.
“The challenge for us now is to raise our levels of performance to a standard where we can progress up the table. Sometimes that’s not a bad thing because I’d like to think we can and will improve.
“I think we’re doing enough things right at the moment to be in the position that we’re in.”
McAdam then went on to ask the manager to look ahead to tomorrow’s game with the Terriers in Yorkshire…
“They’re playing well and have done all season – sometimes you’ll just be missing a certain part of your game that turns performances into results and wins.
“As a team they’re getting the wins to go with their performances. It’s always tough and we haven’t done well there in the last few years – that has to be a big motivating factor for us on Saturday afternoon.
“They play an expansive game and at the moment it’s paying dividends. They have a good collective unit and are like us in many ways. They’re reliant on a way of playing with an atmosphere at their home ground.
“They’ll rely on a work ethic throughout the side, as will all teams of a similar level.”