Graham Potter's big quandary: Glenn Murray, Neal Maupay or both for Brighton vs Watford
Albion head coach Graham Potter admits Glenn Murray has made a convincing case to start this Saturday's crucial Premier League relegation contest against Watford at the Amex Stadium this Saturday.
Murray, 36, agreed a new 18-month contract extension last week and delivered a fine display in the 3-3 draw at West Ham last Saturday at the London Stadium. It was the strikers first start since September and Murray was a handful for the Hammers defence and scored the crucial equaliser to keep Albion two clear of the drop zone
Murray was expected to depart during the January window with speculation linking him with Aston Villa, Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and Celtic. Potter was delighted Murray agreed a new deal and believes he has a key role to play in Brighton's remaining fixtures - starting with Watford.
Potter now has a big call to make on Murray, who could start once again ahead of Albion's leading scorer Neal Maupay.
"Glenn played well and contributed even before his goal," said the Albion head coach. "Pleased for him and it's a testament to him in terms of how he has looked after himself and how he has conditioned himself, that he can carry 90 minutes as well as he did.
"It is good to have someone of his experience and his quality. It's going to be an important run-in and he is relatively fresh in terms of game time which is a bonus for us."
"Glenn has been good to work with. Enjoyed his professionalism and how he goes about his job. It is nice for the group that he is around for this year and next. There was a lot of speculation around the transfer window which resulted in him not playing as much as he would have liked.
"But it is nice he can now focus on helping us in an important part of the season. It is good to have his experience and his know how."
Watford had enjoyed a resurgence under their new manager Nigel Pearson, winning four of his first seven and losing just once. But recent defeats to Everton and Aston Villa proved costly and they arrive second from bottom and two points off safety.
It's a huge three points at stake at the Amex and they hope to go into the winter break on high. Brighton will have the chance to secure their first league double against Watford since the 1991 season.
On the opening game of this Premier League campaign, Graham Potter's men were off to cracking start as they comprehensively beat Watford 3-0 thanks to an own goal from Abdoulaye Doucouré and strikes from Florin Andone and debutant Maupay.
"It is quite clear we would like a win," Potter added, "We are in that position where everybody needs wins, it's that time of season. We need to improve our points tally and we will focus on that for the weekend.
"West Ham was good in terms of how we got the point. We were a little disappointed not to the get the three. But to come back twice in the Premier League shows a character and a determination."