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DANNY BUOYED

Posted on 4 October 2006  - 12:00

It is easy to understand Danny Murphy's 'enthusiastic' goal celebration when he opened the scoring in the first minute against Portsmouth on Sunday.

It is easy to understand Danny Murphy's 'enthusiastic' goal celebration when he opened the scoring in the first minute against Portsmouth on Sunday.

The team have been crying out for an early goal to set the tone after failing to score in the Premiership since the 2-0 win over Sheffield United, while it was, of course, Danny's first for the Club. It was actually his first league goal for nearly a year and his first in any competition since November of last year.

"It was my first for the club and it has been a while since I've scored - it seems like it anyway," smiled the midfielder who made the most of the rebound from Dimitar Berbatov's header and cleverly flicked the ball home. "Hence the wild celebrations and silly slide on my front...

"It was an important goal for us that gave us the confidence to go on and play some good stuff, which I think we did, especially in the first half. The second goal gave us a cushion but unfortunately we gave Portsmouth one just before half-time.

"It was a bad time to give a goal away, I thought we were comfortable and playing the better stuff. A two-goal lead was justified, I felt, then the second half became a bit edgy for us after recent results going against us. We all felt we needed this one, especially going into a break and we stood firm and I think the back four was really solid.

"Robbo made a great save near the end and it will all hopefully give us the confidence to push up the table now."

While his celebration suggested his goal proved something of a release for himself, Danny agreed that the same could be said for the team. While victory over Slavia Prague on the Thursday was a welcome and essential outcome that sees us enter the UEFA Cup group stage, it really needed to be followed up by a second Premiership win of the season.

"That is true and we spoke about it in the week," Danny continued. "We talked about the two home games being really pivotal for us.

"Obviously the European one saw us go into the group stage, which was important for the club and fans, and we achieved that without playing fantastically well.

"Going into the Premiership game it became vital to back it up against Portsmouth and we did that with what I thought was a reasonably strong performance. People talk about pressure - and playing under pressure - and we did the right thing trying to win the game early on. We got our goals after struggling in that department before the second half became a little edgy. There were some tired legs out there late on after the week that we had.

"Sometimes the performance is not as big as the result - it is no good playing well and saying 'unlucky' at the end of it, which we have done a few times recently. We've had a good result now and got three points on the board."