Murray: We know what to expect this season

Glenn Murray in action in Albion's friendly at Birmingham. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Glenn Murray in action in Albion's friendly at Birmingham. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Albion striker Glenn Murray says the squad know what to expect in the Premier League this coming season.

The frontman felt it took the Seagulls a few games to get used to the standard of the top flight last season but Brighton finished the campaign well.

Albion beat Arsenal and Manchester United at the Amex and also drew with Tottenham towards the end of the season and Murray hopes the quality of the club’s new signings will help Albion survive once again in the Premier League.

Brighton finished 15th last year and addressing the team’s mind-set as the season opener approaches, Murray said: “We know what we’re expecting.

“When you step up to the Premier League, as we did, where the majority of players hadn’t played in it before, you don’t know what to expect.

“I’ve had a taste of it now and we were getting used to the situation in the first four or five games last year. This year we’re prepared for all of it from the off.

“We were a bit naïve at points, but we got better at that as the season went on.

“We learned the tricks of the trade and what Premier League clubs do to slow the game down if they’re winning. It was a huge learning curve and we’re going in with our eyes open.”

Murray hopes his injury troubles are behind him as the team’s Premier League opener on August 11 against Watford draws closer.

The 34-year-old was forced off in Brighton’s first pre-season friendly against St Gallen and has since played catch-up with the rest of the squad.

Speaking after Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Birmingham, he said: “That injury put me a week behind the rest of the squad, and I had my first 60 minutes against Charlton in midweek.

“The biggest positive for me was I got through 75 minutes pain free and I’m eager to kick on now.”

Murray was plagued by an ankle injury at the start of Albion’s first Premier League campaign last year, missing three weeks of action after limping off during an away defeat to Leicester.

Last season’s talisman has laid to rest fears of a repeat scenario and said: “If you injure your ankle in the middle of the season, you want to get back as quickly as possible.

“I may have come back too early, but I got through the rest of the season and worked hard in the summer to strengthen it. What happened at St Gallen was just unfortunate and was one of those things. It wasn’t a twist, it was a bit of a heavy challenge and I just tweaked that slightly.”

Murray is relishing the competition for places up front this season. Florin Andone has joined from Deportivo and will provide competition along with Jurgen Locadia and Tomer Hemed.

Murray said: “It’s good to bring more competition in and hopefully more quality and a different edge.

“It’s good for the gaffer to have options.”