herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Brian's new lease of life

Brian Murphy
Brian Murphy

Last summer, after a frustrating spell in his six-year stint cross channel, Irish 'keeper Brian Murphy considered packing up the car and heading home to Ireland.

But patience has been a virtue throughout the career of the 33-year-old and that's why Waterford man Murphy has, in football terms, been born again after establishing himself in the team at Championship side Cardiff City in recent weeks, following a five-month spell as back-up.

A win, a draw, a clean sheet and two man-of-the-match awards in his three outings for Neil Warnock's struggling Cardiff has breathed life back into the career of the former Bohemians keeper, a win over Aston Villa in front of 21,000 fans nine days ago a stand-out moment, after boss Warnock changed his side around and handed the summer arrival from Portsmouth his chance.

"I think I have done well any time I played in the Championship, I played there for Ipswich and QPR and it's a level I feel comfortable with," Murphy told the Herald.

"Who knows what might happen in this transfer window? But I hope I have done enough to make it difficult for the manager to leave me out of the team.

"In any job you can get fed up with what you are doing, for a lot of the time I was at Portsmouth I wasn't getting any enjoyment out of it, but I am happy now, my performances in the last few weeks have shown that I am capable of playing, no matter what level I am put in at."

Former Manchester City and Swansea man Murphy made his name at Bohemians but a return to the League of Ireland was being considered last year as he cut a frustrated figure.

"I had a difficult 18 months, especially with the mental side of football," admits Murphy, who was a target for Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk last summer.

Experience

"I left QPR and had a good experience there, in the Premier League for three of the four years I was there, albeit not playing many games.

"You do get fed up just training all the time but on the other hand I wouldn't change all that much, you can't turn down that opportunity of being in the Premier League," added Murphy, second choice to keepers like Rob Green and Julio Cesar in a spell which was financially lucrative.

"Then I went to Portsmouth last year and didn't really enjoy it. I tore my groin, tore my calf, had other injures.

"I turned down the chance to stay at Portsmouth and going back to Ireland was in the back of my mind, I was fed up and there were opportunities back home. I knew I didn't want to be in England to only be in League One or League Two, I didn't see the point.

"The opportunity to go home was there and I did speak to people about it but it didn't happen. Then on transfer deadline day the call came from Cardiff. Within three hours I was on a flight to Cardiff to get it done and here I am."

Former Manchester United man Ben Amos was Cardiff's No.1 for a chunk of the season but new manager Warnock - who brought Murphy to QPR - dropped Amos after a 4-3 loss at home to Barnsley.

In came Murphy, who starred in a 2-2 draw with Brentford and a 1-0 win over Villa.

"Maybe I am that bit more experienced than the other two keepers here but I have done well in the last three games.

"I'm experienced enough to know that you are only one game away from being sh*t again," he jokes.

"The Villa win was nice, to beat a side just coming down from the Premier League. It was a great game to play in, we had a great crowd and Villa had a decent support down.

"It was a proper Championship game and it was great to hold out for a clean sheet and the win."

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