Brighton & Hove Albion striker Glenn Murray emphasised that the Seagulls dressing room always believed they could turn their form around following Saturday’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The forward netted his 100th league goal for Albion against his former club before Anthony Knockaert’s superb strike sealed another vital three points at the weekend for back-to-back top-flight wins, and Murray highlighted the positive mood that has remained in the dressing room throughout the calendar year so far.
He said, “We’re getting closer but we’re not safe yet – we’ve found out ourselves over the past few months about how ruthless the league can be.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a feeling of relief – when we were analyzing the games where we weren’t winning we all recognised that on the whole we were doing the right things.
“Some things just weren’t dropping for us, but you have to hold your nerve. We kept doing what we were and thankfully things have turned around for us.
“Six points from the last two changes the outlook, we don’t look towards the outside and people’s perceptions. I think sometimes people jump on the bandwagon and make links to other scenarios about tactics and so on.
“For us, we were losing by small margins and we knew that would change if we held our nerve and stayed united as a group.”
The initial intention of manager Chris Hughton was to start with Romanian forward Florin Andone against Roy Hodgson’s side, but after the summer arrival was injured in the warm-up, Murray stepped in to open the scoring and help the Seagulls to a vital victory.
“The manager made a decision to go with Florin [Andone], but unfortunately he felt something before the game.
“I was called into action five minutes before and sometimes that can work in your favour because you haven’t spent all the night before thinking about the game.
“You go out and act on your instinct – sometimes you might go over things in your mind, but it was a good afternoon for us.”
Knockaert’s winning goal was the stand-out moment of a memorable afternoon at Selhurst Park as Albion completed a league double over the weekend’s opponents, and Murray reflected on his reaction to the strike.
“You saw my hand over my mouth – credit has to go to Anthony [Knockaert] because it’s a goal worthy of winning any game.
“It caught me by surprise slightly! Both him and Martin Montoya played the majority of the match on a yellow card, but they both managed to keep their composure and not dive in.
“Today shows we have a lot of options within the squad – that’s what you have to do at this level, you get the best players you can and then select a side from that which you feel gives you the best chance of winning the game.”