Quick decision for Josh Murphy to leave Cardiff City for Preston North End on deadline day
Jet-heeled winger Josh Murphy had to be quick to make a decision whether to make the move north to play for the Lilywhites.
Murphy joined North End on loan until the end of the season from Cardiff City on deadline day, but it wasn’t exactly a move he was prepared for.
The 26-year-old was actually in bed when the call came in from Frankie McAvoy asking him if he’d like to come to Deepdale.
The pair had worked together in the past at Norwich City, with PNE’s head coach having more of a focus on the younger players as assistant to manager Alex Neil.
When asked the question, Murphy wasted no time in committing to the move and felt like someone was looking out for him to present him with the chance to play for PNE.
He said: “I think within the first 15 seconds I’d said, ‘Yeah, I’m coming’.
“I was buzzing because I thought I’d just be staying at Cardiff.
“Someone was watching down on me on that day to give me another chance. I’m just looking forward to it.
“I don’t really know if I was being offered out but I hadn’t really been playing games and it was something that had been going on for a while at Cardiff.
“Everyone knows that I need to be playing football so I think this was the perfect opportunity, it already feels like it’s going to be a good fit for me.
“It would have been stupid for me to not come here.
“I was actually in bed when I heard of the interest.
“I was just kind of sitting there watching deadline day anyway, then I had a call from Frankie and it all happened dead quick.
“I ended up jumping out of bed and getting to Cardiff’s stadium to get everything signed. It all happened really quickly. When it all went through I don’t think there was much time left so I was buzzing to get it done.
“I was thinking about having an early night as well but I was glad I stayed up.”
There were a couple of question marks over the arrival of Murphy at first, as North End had spent the summer on the lookout for a striker.
They might have found their man, however, as the former Norwich man is happy playing in the central role.
Murphy has spent much of his career so far out on the wing, playing there for the Canaries when Cardiff paid £11m to take him to Wales, and the Premier League.
He is looking forward to the versatility that playing as a striker offers him and when presented with an opportunity on goal, he is backing himself to take it too.
He said: “I like playing as a striker role, it gives me the freedom to play everywhere – off the left, off the right and through the middle. It’s that free role and I like stretching my legs, getting in the channels and using my speed.
“A lot of teams play in that 3-5-2 system now, especially in the Championship.
“It’s a system that I know and a system that I think I can do well in.
“Being through the middle, it gives me more of a chance to score. Hopefully I can get some good numbers in front of goal.
“I’d like to think I’m a bit of a finisher when I get the chance but it’s about having the freedom to stretch my legs and get on the ball.
“That is what is exciting me at the moment.”
The on-loan Cardiff man faces a return to former rivals Bristol City tomorrow and has a plan in place should he score.
He only has 12 months left on his contract in the Welsh capital but his focus is firmly on his time at Deepdale and playing as well as he can..
“I’ve already got a celebration planned,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we get the three points on Saturday. My focus is just fully on playing for Preston and enjoying myself.
“I know if I do that and I work hard everything should take care of itself and I will go from there.
“My full focus is on playing football, playing well and whatever happens from there happens.”
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