BOSS Chris Hughton believes extra competition up front after Albion’s January business has spurred on Glenn Murray.

The striker launched the 3-1 win over West Ham at the Amex with his fifth goal in his last seven appearances in the Premier League and FA Cup.

Murray’s scoring spree has coincided with the signings of Jurgen Locadia and Leo Ulloa, who made the first home appearance of his second spell at the club as a late substitute for Murray.

Hughton told The Argus: “The reason why we bought the two strikers in was because we wanted fierce competition up front.

“It’s not easy because it means I have to pick players and even someone like Tomer (Hemed) who has been good for us, has missed out on the last two games.

“There are difficult decisions but what we wanted was that competition up front and if that motivates somebody that little bit more then that’s the reason we do it.”

Murray, 34, now has his best-ever Premier League tally of eight goals and ten for the season overall.

He is one behind the total of 90 scored for the club by Albion legend Bobby Zamora, who watched the clash between two of his old teams, and is making it difficult for Hughton to leave him out.

“I want them all to make it difficult, not just the strikers, but the players that are in the team to make it as difficult as possible for me not to leave them out,” Hughton said.

“There are two things we demand from a striker because of the level we are, a work ethic and also to get in for chances.

“If you look at the goals Glenn gets, it is about being in the right place at the right time.

“Whatever age he is he will always have that knack. But it is about his contribution and they go through periods. Sometimes his contribution will be bigger than others, that’s the nature of the position he plays. But he is playing well and working hard.”

Hughton will have more competition to choose from at Stoke on Saturday, with Locadia in full training and in contention for a probable bench spot after hamstring trouble.