Ex-City star Murphy reveals secret to career revival at Oxford

The former Norwich City winger has struggled for form and self-confidence prior to a move to Oxford United in 2022 and found himself at a crossroads considering his future after leaving Cardiff, who he joined from Carrow Road for a fee in excess of £10m back in 2018. 

His spell at Oxford has endured plenty of turbulence with former U’s boss Liam Manning telling him he was surplus to requirements, but he has found form and overcome adversity to take a step in the right direction in recent months. 

Since Manning’s departure, Murphy has enjoyed a stunning run of personal form and is hoping to drive Oxford through the play-offs before the end of the season. 

The former Youth Cup winner with City has revealed how conversations with twin brother Jacob, still at Newcastle United, helped him turn the tide on a career that he was considering ending. 

“There was a time where I did think to myself, ‘Do I want to carry on playing football?’ There was a lot of self-doubt there. ‘Am I good enough?’ Things like that. You see it a lot from Premier League players coming out and speaking about these things now,” Murphy told the Mirror.

“But I had so many good conversations with Jacob. He had a couple of unsuccessful loans while he was still at Newcastle and then in just one season he had turned things around. Now he’s loved there and has even been playing in the Champions League this season.

“Just speaking to him and getting clarity that things do change in football was a big thing. I’m so grateful for that. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what I would be doing right now.”

Murphy’s form at Oxford has seen interest from elsewhere begin to grow, with his contract at the Kassam Stadium set to expire at the end of the season. 

A national newspaper report this week said that five Championship clubs, including West Brom and Southampton, and Minnesota in the MLS were monitoring his situation, with the 29-year-old scoring two and assisting four in his last three League One matches. 

Oxford boss Des Buckingham, who Murphy has credited with his revival, is desperate to keep him at the club beyond the summer. 

 “We’ll worry about that later. He’s a wonderful player and suits the system we want to play,” Buckingham told the Oxford Mail.

Eastern Daily Press: Josh and Jacob Murphy graduated through Norwich City's academy. Josh and Jacob Murphy graduated through Norwich City’s academy. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

“I really enjoy him as a person, and I really enjoy working with him. He loves being in and around this club, and we’ll do what we can to try and keep him here.

“If there are opportunities that come up for him, we can address those and try and do our best at the end of the season.

“I’m delighted to see how happy he is enjoying his football. He’s very settled and if he keeps performing that way, I’m sure he’ll attract interest.”

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