Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton has paid tribute to this season’s top goalscorer Glenn Murray ahead of a return to one of his former clubs this afternoon.
The forward heads to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this lunchtime with the Seagulls having notched 12 times in all competitions so far this term, and the boss spoke highly of the campaign’s leading marksman.
He said, “Glenn is someone who’s given a lot to both clubs – it’s always nice for a player to be able to go back to a previous club and be appreciated, he’s not been scoring as many recently, but he’s always been in the right place for chances.
“Against Fulham he scored twice but could have had another couple – he had good chances at Leicester and our best opportunity last weekend before Florin [Andone] scored against Huddersfield.
“When you’re a striker the biggest concern is when you’re not getting those chances – but he is, in my view his performance levels remain just the same and consistently high and he still works hard for the team and is getting into the right areas, he will always score goals whatever age he is.”
Albion’s last game on the road was a 2-1 reverse away to Leicester City, seeing Davy Propper’s first goal for the club – the manager believes his side’s showings away from the Amex in recent weeks haven’t got the points they’ve deserved.
“I think our points return from our last six matches on the road is a bit harsh and doesn’t reflect the good nature of some of the performances.
“At Leicester I thought there were large spells of the contest where we were better than them, but I never get carried away by just performances.
“Points are more important, but I don’t think our return is a correct reflection of what we could have got recently – but it’s fact and there would have been occasions where we’ve played lesser and got some results.
“It’s always about how you can get a result, that doesn’t always mean delivering your best performance though.”
Last weekend’s victory moved the Seagulls five points clear of the bottom three heading into the final stages of the season, and Hughton emphasised that the overall ambition of the side was to maintain their status in the division ahead of next year.
“It’s still always about staying in this league in my opinion – they are too many good clubs who have fallen out of this division and then found it hard to get back in.
“If you can improve – and sometimes an improvement in the squad or the team doesn’t necessarily equate to the amount of points that you get.
“You can go through a season where everyone else improves and gets better – then there’s more competition because of a lot of factors.
“Progress can be in many ways – for me the target has always been to make sure we’re in the division next year and giving ourselves another opportunity to make progress again.”