Jamie Murphy eager to make Hibs impact after overcoming injury hell
Jamie Murphy admits he is looking forward to a sustained run of appearances in a Hibs shirt – after a frustrating first season with the club saw him in and out of the team with various niggly injuries.
Despite his time on the treatment table, the winger still made 25 appearances, scoring twice and laying on four for his team-mates. However, the 31-year-old is eager to make more of an impact.
"I've been working a lot with the physios and fitness coaches to keep on top of things. In the last couple of years my body has failed me a bit, but we've started on the right foot this year and hopefully it stays that way,” he said after a man-of-the-match performance in the 3-0 win over Ross County on Sunday.
Defender Darren McGregor revealed last season that turmeric was the secret to his longevity and Murphy is following a similar line of thought.
"There's always something new, anything I can do to keep myself as fit as I possibly can,” he added.
"Game fitness is a big thing; I've played two 60 minutes and a 70 and I'm working towards a full 90 now.”
Murphy is already looking forward to Thursday night's Europa Conference League clash against Rijeka in Croatia and believes the quick turnaround in games is a benefit, having experienced it during his spell south of the Border and again with Rangers.
"I prefer it that way. I spent a lot of time down in England where you're playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday almost every week and when I was at Rangers we were in Europe as well. The more games the merrier for me,” he continued.
Murphy has also benefited from the departure of Jackson Irvine. The Australian often filled a wide role, but Murphy has slotted back into a familiar berth on the left flank.
"I'm maybe not as quick as I was ten, fifteen years ago but I've still got a little bit in there to go,” he smiled.
"Kyle Magennis has come in as well and he’s been great. It's a real team effort.
"When you lose a player you could have another player in your squad ready to go and I think we had that."
While insisting that he would take a “3-0 win and a clean sheet” over a man-of-the-match award any day, Murphy paid tribute to the supporters who are beginning to return to football stadia in their numbers.
"When you're chasing down a ball and you've got the crowd behind you it makes you go that little bit faster – there's more intensity about everything,” he said.
"That's the first time I've played in front of a crowd at Easter Road and I've been here nearly 12 months.
"My dad, my mum, my wife and kids haven't seen a game for 18 months so to have that support back has been great."
Murphy will hope to play a key role on Thursday but more than anything wants to contribute to a Hibs team building on last season.
"One of our targets is to try and better the performance levels from last year," he added. “It's a long season yet but we've started well and want to keep it going for as long as possible.”