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Football: MURRAY: MY DAILY BATTLE AGAINST PAIN.

Byline: By EUAN McLEAN

IAN MURRAY has revealed he is battling constant pain every day and fears the threat of painkiller addiction.

In the week when pop star Robbie Williams checked himself into a clinic after becoming hooked on prescription drugs, Murray admitted he understands how easily it can happen.

The 25-year-old Rangers ace has been suffering from reactive arthritis for sevenmonths and needs medication to cope with pain in his knees and neck.

He admits some days he is BEGGING for the pills to ease the pressure on his joints - but is now vowing to endure the pain while cutting down his intake.

He revealed: "I'll be taking medication for the long term. Some days I'm begging for it because it takes away the pain.

"I don't think of it as addictive but you can see how people DO get addicted.

"It's more a mental thing than a physical problem.

"I've cut down substantially in the last month or so. If I'm not playing or training I'll go without, even if it does leave me feeling sore.

"It's anti-inflammatory medication - I haven't tried herbal or alternative remedies as you have to bear in mind drug testing.

"There's been so many mistakes made with people coming back not knowing they'd been taking something on the banned list.

"The medical staff tell me what to take and know what's allowed. Iwas tested after the Dundee United game and again last week and there was no problem."

Meanwhile, Murray has shouldered the blame for Hapoel Tel Aviv's winner after Gers No.2 Ally McCoist accused him on live TV of ball watching.

Murray blundered by letting Elyaniv Barda get behind him to set up Baruch Degu in the 2-1 defeat last midweek.

Murray said: "Coisty was fine afterwards. He's played the game and know sometimes little things can build up to a goal. I was left feeling disappointed - the whole defence were - but sometimes it happens."

Murray is still confident Gers are in pole position to reach the last 16 of the UEFA Cup.

He said: "Getting the away goal was vital - and I thought we did OK and controlled most of the game.

"Without being disrespectful they are not a massive club so to get this far in Europe and win is fantastic for them.

"Our performances are improving with each week."

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Murray: Admits blame for Israelis' winner
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 18, 2007
Words:399
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