Glenn Murray believes Premier League “hype” is a barrier to lower-tier talents realising their full potential in English football.
Veteran target man Murray’s fine no-look finish kick-started Brighton’s shock 3-2 win over Manchester United at the Amex Stadium on Sunday.
The 34-year-old bagged 12 league goals last term as Brighton secured a 15th-place Premier League finish.
Murray hailed Brighton boss Chris Hughton for handing him the chance to extend his top-flight career, then insisted more lower-league stars can thrive in the Premier League.
“I think there is a lot of hype around the Premier League,” said Murray.
“There are players in the Championship that can play at this level comfortably, but sometimes never get the opportunity.
“Sometimes they get overlooked for maybe cheaper, foreign players.
“We know the English market is quite high and I think that sometimes puts clubs off.
“I have to thank Chris Hughton for giving me the opportunity to play at this level.
“You see with some of the promoted teams this year that they have got rid of some players and have brought some big names in. Thankfully our manager did not do that.
“He gave everyone that helped the club to the Premier League an opportunity in the Premier League and I think most of us have taken that opportunity.”
Brighton lost their opening match of the season 2-0 at Watford, but hit back in style by stunning Jose Mourinho’s lacklustre United on the south coast.
Murray hailed Brighton’s greater strength in depth after another summer’s transfer business, while also citing last term’s 1-0 home win over United in May as boosting the side’s top-level belief.
“We were really disappointed after Watford, but this time the quality going forward was a lot better and I had a lot more support from my team-mates,” said Murray.
“We didn’t really get much support forward last weekend, but (Sunday) was completely different. The change-around, you can see the difference.
“It’s the second season in the Premier League and it is about staying in the Premier League. That is it. Whether that’s 17th, 16th, it does not matter.
“People ask us if we can better last year and obviously it’s natural that we want to do that, but the main thing is to stay in the Premier League and keep the club moving forward with the right momentum.
“I think we have a lot more strength in depth. We have probably got more belief.
“We went into last year not knowing what was on the horizon – a lot of the players had not played in the Premier League.
“I am sure there were a lot questioning themselves and questioning how good a level they were stepping into, and I think it took us four, five or six games to start believing we belonged at this level. This year we can get going from the start.
“We obviously had good memories from the last game (against United) here.
“Those fond memories carried forward so we believed we could win.
“I think we know individually we are not as good as Man United, as footballers, so we know we have to work as a team. We did and thankfully we managed to get the win.”