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FEATURE: “I was thinking ‘how I’m going to get into this side?’ I needed that break." - Coventry City's Jacob Murphy

3 February 2016

The 20-year old forward spoke to PUSB matchday programme on his career so far, youth cup and Coventry City...

At the tender age of 20, Jacob has already experienced life at seven different league clubs, but might have found a platform at the Sky Blues.

Jacob Murphy is having an excellent season for Coventry City after signing a season-long loan deal with the club in the summer. 

With 27 appearances under his belt, Jacob has already clocked up nine goals from midfield, putting him second in the goal-scoring charts behind his good friend Adam Armstrong.

It’s Jacob’s best season to date, even though he also played a major part in keeping Colchester United in League One last season with four goals in 11 games. 

As he explains, it was an incredible feat for the U’s to achieve and Jacob will always be remembered for his impact at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

“There was a few loan spells where it was difficult to get my style of play going in the team and that’s always tough. It’s nice to have a long period of time to be able to show what I can do and play in a settled side. When you’re out on loan for short periods, you’ve got to try and get going straight away and that can be really difficult,” he comments.

“It really started happening for me at Colchester United really. I was able to show what I could do in the team and it was a big learning curve for me.

“I knew some of the younger players at Colchester so I looked at it and thought they had a chance of staying up, and I wanted to be a part of it.

“It wasn’t until the very last until we did get out. I wasn’t that nervous before the game really, I thought results would go our way and you had to believe we could nick it.

“Preston couldn’t really score and it was all us in the second-half. We got the goal and then sat off, and they still struggled to break us down.”

Before his time at Colchester, Murphy had floated around a number of League One clubs, Swindon Town, Scunthorpe, Blackpool and Southend United, desperate to make an impression.

It shows his determined and resilient character. Rather than staying within the comforts of a Premier League Under-21s side, Murphy has always been prepared to ‘muck it’ and he believes others should follow his example.

“As Norwich are in the Premier League, breaking into the side is really difficult. A lot of young players do need to realise they need to go out and play league football as soon as they can,” Murphy continued.

“It’s the only way to learn the game. I’ve been playing Under-21s football since I was 16. By the time I finished my scholarship, I was a veteran. 

“You play against the same kids every time and you’re not playing for anything really which makes it difficult to get to your top levels. When you come to a place like this, you’re playing with players who have a family to look after and livelihoods so you can’t get away with not playing.”

Jacob burst onto the national scene when Norwich City won the FA Youth Cup during the 2012/13 season with him and his twin brother Josh stars of the show.

Maybe there is no greater example of how difficult it is to stake a claim in football than that side. None of that side have gone on to make a serious impression at Carrow Road (yet) and there is only a number of others who’ve have continued playing league football.

Jacob picked up, “It was a weird journey really. In the earlier rounds, we weren’t great really. It wasn’t until the quarter-finals where we thought we could win this.

“It was really from there where our competition started and played our best football. We had a really good team at the time so that obviously helped.

“Obviously, my brother and Harry Toffolo. Carlton Morris is up at Hamilton and there are a few kicking about in the Under-21s at Norwich.”

Josh Murphy, Jacob’s twin brother, is currently on a season-long loan spell with MK Dons in the Championship. The Dons, having secured promotion last season from League One, are currently in 20th position hoping to secure a Championship spot for next season.

Competition was tough to get Jacob to the Sky Blues, with other Championship clubs interested but Jacob explains he was excited by what City had planned this season.

“There were talks about getting a Championship side for the season but when I heard what the manager had planned here, I was excited by it. 

“I was told about some of the players he wanted to bring in and also the league position the club was aiming for and it was a no-brainer for me in the end.

“I thought it would be better for me to be fighting at the top end of a league table rather than going into a scrap at end of the Championship.”

Jacob joined the club just after the 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic in the first game of the 2015/16 campaign. 

Whilst signs were good that City could be in for a positive season, Jacob might have been worried about his playing time. Especially after the following game, the 4-0 win over Millwall, it would have difficult to see him getting in the team at all.

Jacob continued: “I did think we’d do well this season when I joined. Especially after the seeing the first result at Wigan Athletic.

“I was on the bench for the Millwall game and watching that, I was really confident of the qualities in the side. 

“The club philosophy shone through on that day with some brilliant attacking football and it just suited what we wanted to do.

“I was thinking ‘how I’m going to get into this side?’ They were brilliant on the day so I was convinced it would take me weeks to get a break-through.

“Obviously, James got his injury and whilst it was terrible for the team to see that happen, it was the break I needed and my season started from there.”

And it really has been all up since then. He will be looking to break the double figures mark when the Sky Blues face up to one of his former sides Scunthorpe United today.

Whilst he admits it didn’t work out, Murphy is still happy to have spent time on loan there and believes there a club with ambition.

“I enjoyed my time at Scunthorpe, it didn’t really work out for both parties in the end but I met a great set of lads there and still talk to a few of them,” Jacob complements.

“They’re a good club with good ambitions and it will be a tough test for us today. Paddy Madden is in really good form and he’s a real danger.

“They’ve also got people like Jordan Clarke who is a really good defender so it shows the strength of the team so we’ve got to be wary of what they bring to the Ricoh.”

Jacob scored a brace against his former club Colchester United earlier in the season, let’s hope he can repeat that performance against another former club today.

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