HIBS new boy David Murphy today revealed how he’s planning to turn a bad break into a slice of good luck as he kick-starts his career at Easter Road.
The 20-year-old looked certain to feature in Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren’s plans at the start of last season with first-choice left-back Franck Queudrue suspended for the opening five games of the season.
But the former England youth internationalist saw his hopes dashed in a freak training ground accident which left him with a broken foot and out of action for months.
Despite having been with the Teeside outfit since the age of eight, Murphy was released by McClaren at the end of last season and Hibs boss Tony Mowbray, himself a life-long Middlesbrough fan and former club captain, used his contacts at the Riverside Stadium to snap him up on a two-year contract.
As he prepared to face Leeds United in today’s Whyte and Mackay Challenge Cup at Easter Road Murphy said: "It was a case of me picking up an injury at the wrong time of the season.
"Franck Queudrue was suspended for the first five games and I’d probably have played but I cracked a bone in my foot in training.
"I didn’t get back to playing until Christmas and even then I was playing catch-up. It was a bit of bad luck."
Murphy, who played for England at every age level from 15 to 19, had a spell on loan with Barnsley during which he scored two goals and many were surprised when the English Second Division club didn’t try to make the move permanent. But Mowbray, who was searching for a left-back, moved quickly to invite him to play in last weekend’s victory over Cardiff City, his performance such that the Hibs boss began immediate talks to lure a player, who made his debut for Middlesbrough at the age of 17, scoring against Northampton Town in the Worthington Cup - a feat he repeated on his Premiership debut against Fulham - to Edinburgh.
Mowbray said: "David is a young man who hopefully has a long and prosperous future with us.
"I know a lot of people who work at Middlesbrough and others who had watched David play on a regular basis and they tipped him off about me. They were people I know and trust. When he became available I endeavoured to get him to come up.
"They told me what a talented football player he was and hopefully we will bring that potential out."
Mowbray believes those reports have already been borne out by Murphy’s performance against Cardiff, one which received universal approval from the Hibs fans who attended that particular match - news of which delighted the youngster.
Hartlepool-born Murphy said: "I had fantastic coaching at Middlesbrough and it was a wrench to leave having been with the club for so long. But I felt I had gone a bit stale over the past year.
"The main reason for joining Hibs was to get regular football at a high standard which I think the SPL offers. I have to admit I didn’t know much about Hibs as a club when I first arrived and it is not easy going into a new dressing-room.
"But the welcome I received from the players and staff made me feel comfortable and at home. You expect mostly experienced players but we’ve got a young bunch of lads who have gelled together.
"I feel we can grow strong together as a team. I know Tony Mowbray wants to play passing football and that’s the way I have played all my life. I was delighted to hear that the fans were happy with my performance last weekend but there is a lot more to come and I’m ready to show what I can do.
"I like getting forward when it is on but I also enjoy defending which is the most important thing. My ambition is to play first-team football, to stay injury free and play in as many games as I can."