EUROPEAN talisman David Murphy insists Blues will not change their approach in tonight’s crunch clash against Club Brugge at St Andrew’s.
After Blues’ dramatic win in Belgium a fortnight ago, they moved to the top of Europa League Group H, and now have qualification for the knockout phase in mind.
In effect, the grand European tour the fans sing about suddenly got serious. But Murphy, who is Blues’ joint top scorer in the competition, said there was no added burden or pressure on Chris Hughton’s side.
“It’s very much a similar mindset to before,” said the left-back.
“I don’t think we see ourselves as favourites or anything like that.
“We’re just going out there to enjoy it, enjoy the experience and hopefully that will take us to where we want to be.
“That’s what we’ve done so far andthere’s no reason for us to change.
“We have got ourselves into a great position, sitting top of the group after three games, but there are another three games to go.”
Murphy notched a header in the play-off win over CD Nacional at a packed-out St Andrew’s that really lit the blue touchpaper on Blues’ Europa League adventure.
And two weeks ago he put Blues level in the Jan Breydel Stadion, paving the way for Chris Wood’s jaw-dropping winner in the tenth minute of added time.
For the 8,000 or so Blues fans who descended on Bruges, the victory and the whole occasion was marked down as one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences in the club’s history.
Brugge have not recovered from such a shattering defeat. They lost their next three matches and sacked coach Adrie Koster at the weekend after collapsing from 4-2 up against Genk with 20 minutes left to succumb 5-4.
Progression to the knockout stage of the Europa League was identified as a must by their board this season so, with pride wounded and a new man at the helm, they are sure to come out bristling with intent, backed by 3,000 fans in a sold-out St Andrew’s.
“I think they will be very similar to what we faced over there,” said Murphy.