Glenn Murray: I am a constant on the bench but Neal Maupay deserves his place
Brighton and Hove Albion striker Glenn Murray is desperate for more minutes on the pitch after his second half showing during the 1-0 loss against Sheffield United at the Amex Stadium.
Murray, 36, has been used sparingly this campaign as head coach Graham Potter has opted for the the youthful talents of Neal Maupay and Aaron Connolly.
Maupay, 23, is Albion's top scorer with seven goals so far following his £16m summer arrival from Brentford.
Connolly, 19, has had a few injury niggles but has scored twice in the Premier League and his speed and energy has caused numerous problems for opposing defenders.
Last campaign Murray notched an impressive 15 times in all competitions, while the season before - Albion's first in the Premier following promotion - he scored 14.
He was called into action for the second 45 minutes against Sheffield United and the former Crystal Palace and Bournemouth man battled well against a resolute United defence but couldn't force a way through.
“I would like more time on the field, but you have got to hold your hands up," said the veteran. "Neal (Maupay) is doing really well his return goals wise has been really good and his all round play has been very good.
"Sometimes you have just got to wait your turn and just be fit and ready for when the gaffer needs you like this afternoon, but it was unfortunately it wasn’t to be. It is a team game, it’s not just the 11 out there. It’s the 18, the 25 it is the squad and I am part of that at the minute.
"I am a constant on the bench, but you have got to hold your hands up as I am behind a good striker in Neal. If I was playing behind a striker, who had not score any goals then it might be a different case.”
Murray also feels Maupay is reaping the benefits of the hard work in training and extra finishing drills that the Frenchman has been working on.
“I think it works for any striker," Murray added. "Just doing that little bit after training every day, just getting used to hitting the back of the net. That has shown in recent games with chances have dropped to him and he has been quick and buried them.
"That is down to his hard work on the training ground and just doing extra bits in training by getting used to hitting the back of the net.”
Brighton face a hectic festive period with an away trip to Jose Mourinho's Tottenham on Boxing Day, quickly followed by a home match against Murray's former club Bournemouth at the Amex on December 28. Albion then face Chelsea on new Year's Day at the Amex, before a home FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday on January 4.
Murray insists he and the squad are ready and will rest and recover from the disappointing loss to Sheffield United.
“That is why we train so hard," said Murray. "Nothing can replicate 90 minutes in the Premier League, but you try to. I don’t think anyone can say if they not playing week in week out they are as sharp as they would be from just training, so we train as much as well as we can to replicate those 90 minutes.
“I’m sure we will sit down and review it, chat about it and we will try and learn from it, but it was just one of those days and when we review, we will move on to Boxing Day and a busy period ahead.
"You have to give credit to Sheffield United, their game plan worked and we couldn’t break them down unfortunately, but it was just one of those afternoons. They are doing remarkably well. We have got our own philosophy and we will stick to it.
“We got beat 1-0 at home, it is not like we have been drubbed 5-0. We will review it and we will move onto Tottenham and then on to the next games and so on. This league waits for nobody.
“It was disappointing, but it is not the end of the world. It is just one bad performance where we weren’t maybe quite as good as in previous games."