Brighton & Hove Albion striker Glenn Murray insists the team will be doing their upmost to carry out Chris Hughton’s instructions against Newcastle United this evening, as the Seagulls go in search of three valuable points at the Amex Stadium.
Albion have proven themselves hard to beat in back-to-back outings at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur, but Hughton’s side must now look to rectify a sequence of disappointing home results.
Murray backed his team-mates to stick to the game plan against the Magpies, and spoke of the trust and confidence the entire playing squad hold in their manager.
He said, “I’d rather attack all day long, but my team would get beat constantly if that was the case. I’m attack-minded, I wouldn’t worry about the boys at the back!
“We’ll be trying to do the gaffer’s tactics down to a tee — we’ve all got faith in him, he’s brought us a long way over this three-four-year period. Hopefully we can get a result against this old team.
“There’s still quite a large group that have been on this journey together, we’re pulling together and letting the other lads know that they don’t want to go down and play football in the Championship.
“It’s difficult to completely take yourself away from this at the minute. It’s a pressure-cooker situation and the only thing that’s going to give us a bit of ease is the end of the season.”
In the reverse fixture back in October when the Seagulls claimed a 1-0 victory at St James’ Park, Murray left the field on a stretcher after just 15 minutes following an aerial collision with Federico Fernandez.
The 35-year-old reflected on the incident, which saw him rushed to hospital, before speaking about Newcastle’s recent upturn in form, which has secured their spot in the Premier League for another season.
“It was like I was on a stag do, walking around the Newcastle infirmary with my full kit on. It was a bit strange. The physio told me over and over again [the result] but it took a while to sink in.
“That was when we were doing what we do naturally, and that’s keeping clean sheets and getting those breaks — similar to what Newcastle are doing at the minute.
“Newcastle had been flirting around it [relegation zone] all season, but they’ve put a run together over the last couple of months. Three or four wins, and all of a sudden they’re out of it.
“As far as we’re concerned, especially from the last two performances, we’re in it together and we’re fighting hard to stay in this league.”
Finally, Murray heaped praise on team-mate Dale Stephens, who he believes doesn’t always get the credit he deserves for the pivotal role he plays for the team.
“Dale Stephens is a footballer’s footballer. He does a job that goes very unnoticed, especially to the untrained eye. He blocks a lot of holes to stop midfielders getting the ball into a forward’s feet.
“It’s a very unglamorous job, he often goes side to side with his passes and does a really, really good job for the team. He’s incredibly important to everything we do at Brighton.
“He’s not bursting into the box late on and scoring goals, but that’s not what he is. He’s a little more defence-minded and he tries to keep the ball. He’s imperative to everything we’ve done over the past three or four years.”