When Jamie Murphy learned that Hibernian were keen on helping him reinvigorate his career, it did not take much to convince him that the trip along the M8 was the right move. Not when everything he was hearing reinforced that view.
“I spoke to Greg Docherty about the move and I spoke to the McGinns,” said the 31-year-old winger, who is in line for his debut against St Mirren today. “They gave me a good idea of what it’s like here and what Hibs are trying to achieve.
“Greg could not speak highly enough about the place and I still speak to him on a regular basis. He obviously helped me make the decision.”
Like Murphy, Docherty failed to consolidate a place in the Rangers starting line-up and while Murphy headed off to Burton Albion for the second half of last season, netting seven goals in ten appearances, his Ibrox colleague enjoyed an equally-positive loan spell in Leith before the campaign was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Easter Road club had looked into bringing Docherty back this term but were thwarted when he instead opted for a permanent switch to Hull City. But they have landed Murphy, who is looking forward to the prospect of playing for a manager who seems to value his input more than his Govan boss did.
“I knew a couple of boys at St Mirren that played under Jack Ross and couldn’t talk highly enough about him. I can see from the first couple of weeks in training that the boys enjoy it and really take in what he’s saying.”
And the fact that Ross went after his signature, despite being blessed with a few decent wide men already, only served to stress the manager’s faith in him.
“I wanted somewhere to go, to be settled and be able to give everything I’ve got to the team and Hibs have given me that opportunity. I’m looking forward to getting back playing and being involved.
“There’s great players here, players that are doing well at both ends of the pitch. I’m just here to try and help them, push the team along and get where we want to go.”
After a long period of rehabilitation from a cruciate knee injury, Murphy had returned from his loan spell at Burton with a year remaining on his Rangers contract. Convinced that he was back at his best and looking to find a way into Steven Gerrard’s team, he says the fact that did not transpire is one of those things.
“Sometimes things aren’t to be and you need to move on. That’s just football,” he said.
“What did Steven Gerrard say to me? Not much. I spoke to him before I left and he wished me the best of luck. That’s just how it is with managers and players.
“But, if you look back over the last five or six years, I’m definitely a better player now. I just have not been able to show that over the last couple of years. I want to do that at Hibs.”
With talented players who have been left kicking their heels, there is a hunger in Murphy to prove that he is worthy of the regular starts he was denied elsewhere.
“Yeah, when anyone doesn’t play, they want to play and do well. Missing a bit of time with injury, I’m hoping to add that on to the end of my career, but that only happens if I’m playing well,” he added.
A Hibs target when he was at Sheffield United, the player who burst through at Motherwell turned them down at that time but he hopes the wait will prove worth it if he can produce the form he knows he is capable of now and help the Leith side maintain the early momentum that has taken them to the higher echelons of the league table.
“There was [interest] at the time. We’d just changed managers at the time but I managed to get in the team, score a couple of goals and my career went from there. I feel I did well down south. I did what I had to do and had some success at Sheffield United and Brighton. It was then time to come back up the road to Rangers and now Hibs.”
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