Hugh Murray eyes Buddies stay beyond record appearance

By David CurrieBBC Scotland
St Mirren midfielder Hugh Murray
Murray is poised to create a new appearance record for St Mirren

Hugh Murray hopes breaking St Mirren's appearance record will not signal his exit from the Paisley club.

The 32-year-old midfielder needs to make one more appearance to break Tony Fitzpatrick's record of 458 games.

"I had a chance to move in January but wanted to stay on and prove that I still had a lot to offer St Mirren," Murray told BBC Scotland.

"I wanted to prove that the manager would be wrong to let me go. Hopefully I've done that."

Murray will surpass former midfielder and manager Fitzpatrick's record if he plays in Monday's Scottish Premier League relegation showdown against Hamilton Accies.

''It'd be strange that it was Tony Fitzpatrick who brought me to the club all those years ago," said the midfielder.

"He might not be too happy that I might beat his record."

Fitzpatrick amassed his appearances in two stints with the Buddies, from 1973 to 1979 and then 1981 to 1989.

Murray, who made his debut in 1997 and whose contract expires in the summer, had come close to switching to Division One promotion hopefuls Dunfermline Athletic during the January transfer window.

And manager Danny Lennon said: ''There was a chance he'd be moving on at that time.

"But he really impressed me with his dedication and attitude and, since the turn of the year, his performances have been getting better and better."

Meanwhile, Lennon says his team are in ''a happy place'' going into Monday's match at home to Accies.

A win would secure St Mirren's place in the top flight next season, while a draw would mean they would need only one more point to ensure that Hamilton took the drop down.

'We have a good opportunity on Monday to write our own history on our home pitch," added Lennon.

"Hamilton will have a right go, but we'll try to win the match too.

"The performances we've been putting in lately have been excellent.

"We just need to make sure we turn that into maximum points.''

Only once St Mirren have officially beaten relegation will Lennon start negotiating with out-of-contract players.

''We only have three first-team players who'll be under contract next season," added the manager.

"I've been saying to the team they are all playing for their futures at the club and their families.

"The ones who are consistent and continue to show that are the ones who'll be rewarded."

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