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21 May 2015

Wembley-born Murphy looks ahead to play-off final

JOSH Murphy grew up within a stone’s throw of Wembley Stadium – and is determined to grab any opportunity he might get to play there.  

The youngster is back in the frame for City boss Alex Neil after returning from his loan spell at Wigan Athletic, and made the substitutes’ bench for last weekend’s play-off semi-final second leg win over Ipswich Town.

Speaking to in the week leading up to the final, Murphy recalled his childhood in reach of English football’s famous showpiece stadium.

“I remember when it was being built; me, my mum and Jacob would look out of the window and see the arch, and mum would say that one day we’d be able to play there,” he said.

“It was always there when we were growing up. It’s every player’s dream to play at Wembley, and if I get my chance on Monday I’m just going to take it and do everything for the team to get us that win.

“It would be a massive experience for me. It’s a thrill to be around the squad. It’s nice to be back around it, they’re all great lads and there’s a good feeling at the moment.”

Murphy stole the headlines on his return to the Under-21s team last week, bagging a hat-trick at Anfield in a captivating 4-4 draw with Liverpool.

The winger was happy with his instant impact, adding: “A hat-trick at any level is deemed good. I hadn’t been playing many matches, so I came into that thinking about getting my head down.

“I feel I grasped that opportunity, and that’s why I was on the bench against Ipswich.

“It just feels like one extreme to another. I’ve gone from scoring a hat-trick at Anfield, which was brilliant, to hopefully playing at Wembley.”

The 2013 FA Youth Cup winner also lauded the benefits of his recent loan spell at relegated Wigan, where he made five appearances.

“It was a testing situation. The club didn’t deserve to be there - it’s a great club with great players but it was a hard season for them," he commented.

“It was a good experience nevertheless. I learned a lot after having two managers while I was there: Malky Mackay and Gary Caldwell, and they both taught me a lot.

“I’m just going to use every experience I can to help me push on.”

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