Brighton & Hove Albion striker Glenn Murray encouraged his team-mates to hold their nerve when Newcastle United visit the Amex Stadium on Saturday, as the Seagulls look to secure three precious points towards Premier League survival.
Chris Hughton’s former employers visit the south coast with their top-flight status already secured for another season, but Albion find themselves in the heat of a relegation battle with three games to go.
Murray, who has scored 11 times in the Premier League this season, spoke of the team’s desire to edge towards safety with a positive result against the Magpies, following midweek heartbreak at Tottenham Hotspur.
He said, “As soon as it was done on Tuesday night, it was all about Saturday. We’ve got no time to be dwelling on negatives — while it was a good performance, it’s all eyes on Newcastle now.
“We have to keep calm, stick to our tactics and not allow the occasion to get the better of us. We can’t become disorganised and easy for Newcastle to play against through our desperation to get a result.
“I think Newcastle will come down and try to do a professional job. They’re trying to finish as high up the Premier League table as possible — it’s not about rolling over these days.
“We’ll be doing everything we can to win the game, but if we don’t, it’s not the end, there’s still a lot of football to be played.”
The Seagulls have gone seven matches without scoring, following their visit to The Den last month, and Murray admitted the team have struggled to show their usual creativity inside the final third.
“For me personally, it’s a big part of my game [goals] and it’s what I judge myself on. It’s not that we’re not scoring goals — we’re just not creating too much, which is the real problem.
“That’s not blaming anyone in particular, it’s through getting into good areas in the final third and probably making the wrong decision on too many occasions.
“In the first half of the Cardiff game, we got into some really good positions, threatening positions, but we just failed to make the killer pass or killer cross.
“It hasn’t been what it once was, but we’ll be carrying out the gaffer’s tactics as well as we can and trying to break down a resolute Newcastle team.”