Johnny Cantor: Murray deserves the chance to show his talent in the top flight again

Well, it wasn't necessarily pretty but they got the job done. Last week in this column I said that if Albion got six points from the two home games they would certainly be in the box seat in terms of automatic promotion.

Thursday, 6th April 2017, 8:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:57 am
Glenn Murray celebrates after scoring against Birmingham on Tuesday. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

In the post-match interviews after the win over Birmingham, striker Glenn Murray was quick to stress the importance of the win rather than the performance. Of course Murray is right. I was however particularly pleased for him myself as he reached 20 goals for this season with still six games remaining.

The last player to score 20 league goals for the Albion in a season? Yes, Glenn Murray in his last spell. His manager praised his reliability and referred to his movement in the penalty box as a key factor to his consistency.

Over the years, Murray has been an enigma to many. He certainly did not always see eye to eye with former manager Gus Poyet. Some fans over the years seem to have the impression that he can go into a sulk or at times be a little spikey.

Now, I don’t profess to be best friends with him but I have known and dealt with him for a long time. What’s always come across to me is that he just wants to win and score goals.

He is after all a player who has scored 30 in a Championship season before. I think when we look at so many top strikers they have similar traits. Focused. Composed. And, yes, a little selfish in front of goal. That’s what makes them great.

When the 33-year-old first came back to the club I felt that, despite the huge pool of talented wingers, the Seagulls weren’t playing to his strengths. There were a few great runs in wide positions but not enough crosses. Over the first few months the squad has seen his talent, learnt about his game and is now creating for him.

It may have been a case that he had to earn the right to demand more from his teammates. That’s fair enough I think but once again he has delivered and proved vital in the Seagulls promotion push.

His work-rate has been phenomenal. He also looks a snip at around £3m. I hope he can continue to score and lead the Albion to the Premier League. He deserves it. He also deserves a good crack at showing that talent again in the top flight of English football.

We don’t always see what players do off the pitch but in my experience Murray has been helpful and interested in the local community. He still lived in Sussex despite leaving the club and seems at home, so to speak.

He came as our guest to the BBC Sussex Community Awards last year and was interested, appreciative and an exemplary ambassador for the club. I think we should probably all stop and take a minute. ‘Bravo’ Mr Murray.

Johnny Cantor covers Brighton & Hove Albion as a commentator and reporter for BBC Sussex Sport.

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