Rosenior hails Murray’s mental strength after Brighton triumph at Middlesbrough
The Seagulls now turn their attention to the Premier League survival battle.
Brighton skipper Liam Rosenior has praised Glenn Murray’s mental strength after the striker put a difficult week behind him to fire the club into the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Murray and his wife Stacey were arrested and released on Tuesday as part of a £1.1million HMRC tax investigation, but he came off the bench at Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon to secure a dramatic 1-0 fourth-round victory.
Rosenior, handed the captain’s armband as manager Chris Hughton made seven changes at the Riverside Stadium, told the club’s official website: “He has an art of being in the right place at the right time and Glenn is a really strong lad mentally.
“We’ve wanted to support him through what he’s gone through this week and the thing with Glenn is he’s a great professional.
“As soon as he’s on the pitch or training, he’s a fantastic character to have in the changing room.”
If Murray’s intervention proved decisive, it was also hugely fortunate as the visitors survived an first-half storm, during which keeper Tim Krul tipped an Adama Traore shot on to a post, before launching their own onslaught.
They finally made the breakthrough in the final minute of normal time when Boro defender George Friend reached Markus Suttner’s cross marginally before Murray, only to blast the ball straight at him and see it ricochet into his own net.
Rosenior was delighted to have progressed, but remains acutely aware that the overwhelming priority is Wednesday night’s trip to Southampton and the games against West Ham, Stoke and Swansea which follow it in the quest to retain the club’s Premier League status.
He said: “When you make a lot of changes with players that haven’t played for a very long time, you need to feel your way into the game.
“It was quite cagey in the first half with the number of changes that we’ve made, and in the second half we showed our character and spirit and that’s what is going to keep us up this season.
“Hopefully it will give us a good run in the FA Cup, but the most important thing is to stay in this league and to do that, you need all 25 players at in training day in, day out pushing the first 11, and we’ve got that here.”
Boro also have bigger fish to fry, with promotion back to the top flight new manager Tony Pulis’ only focus.
He said: “We are fully focused on one thing now, and that is getting in that top six. With 18 games to go, we have got to now perform with a consistency that will take us there.
“Have the players got the consistency? They are a group of players that I’m still learning about, so we’ll have to wait and see, but that’s what they’ve got to have to get out of this league, they’ve got to have consistency and win – and if you’re not winning, you mustn’t lose games.”