Leeds United: £1m man Murphy will bloom at Whites – Ritchie

Luke Murphy.
Luke Murphy.
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Former Leeds star Andy Ritchie answers all your questions.

Hi Andy. Luke Murphy seemed to really benefit from being able to get more forward last weekend. It would be nice to see him finish the season with a bit of a swagger after a difficult year.

Luke was by far the man of the match against Blackpool for me and he really stood out.

To be fair with Michael Brown and Michael Tonge in there in midfield, he was given licence to go forward a bit and it worked.

They both covered well for him and got stuck in which enabled Luke to get forward.

Luke’s two goals were fantastic. He should have probably had another one and he can be pleased. I’ve seen him do that sort of thing with Crewe and hopefully, if he keeps that going for the rest of the season, he will come back refreshed next term.

I really do think he is a quality player.

His work-rate has never been in doubt and while he was at Crewe, he was always one of their top players, probably the top one.

If you asked Luke, he would probably say he has found it more difficult than he thought at Leeds. It’s a step up, but he will definitely get there.

I think he will be one to watch next season. He’s got a lot of natural talent.

Sometimes, when you move for £1m, it can make you a better player straightaway or crush you.

But in terms of Luke, I think there’s a very determined player in there and you could see that with some of the challenges he made at the weekend.

He was involved and pumped up for the game.

I know some people will say ‘it’s only Blackpool’ as they are on a horrible run. Okay, they are, but it’s 11 versus 11 on the pitch and you still have to make your mark.

Luke was a guiding light against them.

When he was at Crewe, he dictated games and while we don’t know what will happen in the close season at Leeds –where a lot of players are out of contract and there will be a fair few ins and outs and I am sure a lot won’t be too many still there – Luke will be an important player.

Looking at Leeds now, it’s important for the players to provide a few more rays of sunshine in what has been a really topsy-turvy season.

Brian McDermott said in his post-match interview on Saturday that Leeds are probably safe, but he said he doesn’t want to think that way as the club needs to get a few more wins and points if they can. And with it being Barnsley this weekend and it being a local derby, they could not wish for it to be a more ‘up for it’ game. There will be a lot of pride and passion involved as Barnsley are fighting for their lives and Leeds will have to be up for it, definitely.

Samuel Saiz.

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