I got it wrong over Murray admits Grant

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant has held his hands up and admitted he was wrong to play new signing Ian Murray in midweek.The City manager gave Murray his second start at left-back for the Carling Cup tie at Rochdale, even though the former Rangers man was struggling with illness.

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant has held his hands up and admitted he was wrong to play new signing Ian Murray in midweek.

The City manager gave Murray his second start at left-back for the Carling Cup tie at Rochdale, even though the former Rangers man was struggling with illness.

Murray was substituted after a torrid 45 minutes during which he was given the run-around by Rochdale's Ben Muirhead - but Grant said he should never have travelled to the north-west.


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“I shouldn't have played him,” said Grant. “The boy just wanted to play, he was desperate to play, he has just come to the club, so I could understand that.

“It's not hard for a Scotsman to understand another Scotsman, but you could hardly understand a word he was saying before the game and after the game.

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“It was the players more than anything else which was the worrying thing because they are in the vicinity of each other, even on the bus travelling and you are a wee bit concerned.

“But it was because of the lightness of the bodies I felt it was important that he played in the game, for him one, but more for Hucks (Darren Huckerby), and I shouldn't have done that.”

It was the presence of the returning Huckerby which helped persuade Grant to field Murray - although a combination of other injury problems plus Rochdale's intransigence on the pitch meant that particular side issue also changed.

“I only wanted to play him for 45 minutes,” admitted Grant. “If Hucks had not come back I wouldn't have played Ian, but I just felt he would give us a little bit more legs, and with Simon (Lappin) to give Hucks help if we went forward, knowing he hadn't played since May 7.

“So I wanted bodies round and about him to allow him to get his breather, but unfortunately the situation Ian was in himself I had to take him off.”

It's then that the best laid plans go to waste, with skipper Jason Shackell and veteran striker Dion Dublin also picking up knocks.

“I had to move Simon back and I had to play Hucks because of the fact that when Shacks was struggling, Dublin was struggling and there were a couple of others.”

Julien Brellier departed five minutes into extra-time, but Grant declared himself more than satisfied with the Frenchman's performance, and his continuing battle to reach peak fitness.

“I thought he looked sharper the other night, but yet again he got to that period where I felt that if we kept him on we were going to lose him again,” said Grant. “You could see him running straight-legged - I thought he had hurt his calf or something, but he said he was just stiffening up.

“In that position we are very light anyway and that would have been another central midfielder out.”

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