Belfast Telegraph

Glenn Murray puts Brighton’s goal drought down to a lack of creativity

Relegation-threatened Albion have gone more than nine hours without a top-flight goal.

Glenn Murray has scored three league goals in 2019 (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Glenn Murray has scored three league goals in 2019 (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Brighton top scorer Glenn Murray has blamed a lack of creativity and bad decision-making for his side’s worrying goal drought.

Chris Hughton’s struggling Seagulls have slipped into serious relegation danger following six Premier League games without finding the net.

Veteran striker Murray hit eight top-flight goals before Christmas but has added only three to that tally since the turn of the year.

Brighton sit just three points ahead of 18th-placed Cardiff going into Saturday’s crucial home game with Newcastle.

“For me personally, it’s a big part of my game (goals) and it’s what I judge myself on,” the 35-year-old Murray told Brighton’s official website.

“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.

“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.”

Murray has claimed more than a third of Albion’s 32 league goals this term and is the only player to have registered more than five times.

Centre-back Shane Duffy is the club’s second top scorer on five goals, while the attacking talents of Solly March, Anthony Knockaert, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Jose Izquierdo, Florin Andone and Jurgen Locadia have contributed just eight top-flight goals between them.

After the Magpies visit the Amex Stadium this weekend, Brighton finish the season with daunting fixtures against Arsenal and title-chasing Manchester City.

Victory over Rafael Benitez’s 13th-placed side would significantly ease the nerves among Seagulls supporters but Murray –  who has not scored on home soil since December 4 – insists securing three points is not vital.

“We’ve got no time to be dwelling on negatives, it’s all eyes on Newcastle now,” said Murray.

“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.”

French winger Knockaert, who claimed Albion’s last league goal at rivals Crystal Palace on March 9, returns from a three-game ban, but central midfielder Davy Propper remains sidelined with a hamstring problem.

PA

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