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    Dec 2003

    "We Don't Need to. We Finished 17" - Glenn Murray

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    In answer to the question on the need to improve next season.

    Hope that's not how the new manager sees it.

    Glenn Murray is ready for life as Albion's elder statesman.

    And he will take a few tips from his predecessor as he takes his career into a 16th season.

    Murray turns 36 on September 25. His next league appearance will be the 500th of his career.

    Assuming his tenure as Albion’s centre-forward continues, he is likely to be their oldest player by a distance.

    Not just the oldest in the team. That was often the case in the season just finishing when Bruno was out of the side.

    But the oldest at the club – and by a good few years too.

    Murray, though, feels as good as ever and has thoughts only on football, while knowing he needs to appreciate each season more than ever.

    After the campaign-ending defeat by Manchester City, he said: “I’m physically and mentally tired but there is a little bit of a sad element about it as well.

    “There is another one ticked off and they aren’t going to keep coming around.

    “Seeing Bruno (on his farewell) first-hand evoked emotions a little bit.

    “But I’ll be ready to go come the start of the season.”

    Asked if he was pondering life after playing. Murray replied: “I don’t think you can take your focus off what we are doing at the minute.

    “This league is obviously the best in the world and, if I start focusing on other things, that will be the end already.

    “It is about focusing on the now and that will be each game and each season as it comes and trying to prolong my career as long as possible.

    “Looking to Bruno, he has taught me the right way to do things and I will be trying to follow in his footsteps.

    “Just how to age and how to, I suppose, defy the odds and keep your body going.

    “It’s more off the field than on the field.

    “It’s living a regimented life, diet, lifestyle, more work off the field than younger boys have to do.

    “It’s hard work but it is all worth it.”

    Only three players aged 34 or older scored in the Premier League this term – and the other two were centre-backs.

    Murray finished with 13, Leicester defender Wes Morgan scored three and Phil Jagielka became the season’s oldest Prem marksman when, at 36, he hit Everton’s winner at home to Arsenal last month.

    The Albion striker was talking before news broke of*Chris Hughton’s departure.

    The next season will be a whole new challenge now with a change of manager in the offing.

    Graham Potter is favourite to take over and, through necessity as well as preference, he went with the youngsters at Swansea this season.

    Of the ten outfield players who had most minutes for Swans, Kyle Naughton is currently 30, Mike van der Hoorn is 26 and the other eight are 23 or younger.

    Oliver McBurnie, with 22, was top goalscorer at 22 years of age and Daniel James, 21, provided most assists with seven.

    Wayne Routledge, 34, flew the flag for the older heads with five goals in his 22 starts.

    To a suggestion that Albion must improve next term, Murray said: “We don’t need to. We finished 17th.

    “If we finish 17th again, it doesn’t matter how many points it is by.

    “But the hierarchy of the club will be working hard and looking at players and that is the nature of the beast at all levels of the game.

    “Squads and clubs want to keep improving and we will be no different.”

    “I am sure the squad we have now will be ready to go from July.”


    (Age at start of next season)

    35: Glenn Murray.

    31:*Gaetan Bong,*Beram Kayal, Leon Balogun.

    30: David Button,*Dale Stephens.
    Last edited by whitelion; 16-05-2019 at 12:45.
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