Sean Murray believes the best has yet to come from him in a Dundalk shirt as he pledged his desire to remain at the club next season.
The midfielder was named the SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month for October on Thursday after a superb month in which he scored vital European goals against KÍ Klaksvik and Molde, not to mention a brilliant strike in the 2-1 victory over Derry City at the Brandywell.
While Murray has regularly struggled for fitness during his two seasons at Oriel Park, even sitting out Friday’s FAI Cup win away to Bohemians due to a reoccurrence of a groin problem, he is confident that he is finally getting to the bottom of it and ready to kick on.
Speaking about his award, the 27-year-old said: “It’s a good end to what was a good month for me personally. It was good to be back fit and playing and getting amongst the goals so I was delighted with it.
“It was mainly down to a bit of confidence. It’s probably the only time that I have felt 100% fit. I’ve always been coming back from injury, getting injured again and then recovering so it has always been a tough time.
“I think there have been a lot of games in the last couple of months and it kind of took its toll on me but I’m glad to have got a bit of rest and I’m ready to go again now hopefully.
“We’ve a bit more football to play this season but hopefully I can be involved and then rest up over the winter and come back fully fit for next year.
“It’s been a strange year for everyone but I didn’t really kick a ball too much earlier in the year and I was training through lockdown not knowing if I’d be coming back to play football or what. It has been a good end to the year though and I just want to top it off now and finish November and December well.
“I think if I can keep myself fit and not get injured for the whole of next season then I definitely think the best has yet to come. I think I’ve shown it in patches but if I can get that consistently and stay away from injuries then that would be ideal for me.”
Asked did he want to remain at the club beyond the end of his current deal which expires next month, the former Irish U-21 international said: “I’m definitely settled here.
“I’ve loved every minute of being here even when I wasn’t playing. It’s a great team to be in and I don’t see why I’d want that to change so definitely.”
Murray is hopeful of being back in action for Thursday’s Europa League tie against Rapid Wien at the Aviva Stadium and feels Dundalk can finish what they started in Vienna recently when they were perhaps unfortunate to lose out 4-3 to the Austrians.
“I didn’t play too long in that game but the way the team played was brilliant,” he said.
“We made a few mistakes and let in easy goals but we’ve gone there and scored three so I think on another day scoring three should win you the game. We’ll definitely look at that and take the positives which are that we can get goals against this team. If we can cut out the errors then definitely we’ll have a chance on Thursday.
“Now we’ve got the first games over and done with we’ll know what to expect from these sides. We realise how good and how competitive we can be in Europe against these teams. Hopefully we can go into the next three games with a lot more confidence than we have in the past,” he said.
Ultimately, Murray is also determined to ensure that the Player of the Month award is not the only one he is lifting this season.
“It has been said around the place a lot that if we can win the Cup on the back of getting to the group stages in Europe then it will be a great achievement.
“That’s going to be the aim now going forward as well as to do as well as we can in the Europa League. We definitely want to win the FAI Cup and we’re definitely capable of it and hopefully now we can do that,” he said.