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Luke Murphy - Remember me?

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1Luke Murphy - Remember me? Empty Luke Murphy - Remember me? on Sat Jun 22 2019, 08:48


Luke Murphy has designs on being more than just a bit-part player for Wanderers in League One this season.
The midfielder, restricted to just nine starts last term following his move from Leeds United, is one of just a handful of senior Bolton players still contracted to the club.
Murphy has spent an anxious summer waiting for news of a takeover and, in common with the rest of the footballers and coaching staff, has not been paid in nearly four months.
But he is keen to make a fresh start this summer and become a key man for the Whites.

“Last season was not one of my best, by any means,” he told The Bolton News.

“I found it tough to get a run in the team. I think the best I managed was four in a row, so I definitely didn’t play anywhere near as much as I’d have liked.
“But that’s football. All you can do is work hard every day in training and be ready whenever called upon.
“We had a lot of players last season, and players in my position who were doing well.

“This time I want to establish myself and play as many games as possible, work as hard as possible. I’m determined to do that, to show that I can play consistently well.”
Wanderers’ players have still not been told officially when pre-season will start – although the initial schedule set down by the administrators was for the end of the month.
Adding together both scholars and contracted first teamers, just 14 players are due to report back, which underlines the huge turnover of players which can be expected once new ownership is officially confirmed.
Familiarity won’t be a big issue for Murphy, who is confident the dressing room can gel quickly, once formed.
“For me, when I signed for Bolton I hardly knew anybody so I don’t think it will be as strange as that,” he said. “I’m sure whoever comes into play will want to do their best for the club.

“So it’s the same anywhere after the first initial introduction and meeting new faces once you’re out on the pitch everybody is in the same boat trying to achieve the same thing.

“I’ve been in teams before where at the start of the season the turnover of players is huge.
"It’s not a huge deal, everybody bonds pretty quickly.”
There has been a cloud over the summer break for Murphy and the rest of the Wanderers players who endured last season’s Championship catastrophe.

Pay problems are well-documented but guilt that off-the-field issues impacted so heavily on performances has also been difficult to shift for the 29-year-old midfielder.
“I’d be lying if I said it’s been an enjoyable summer because it hasn’t,” he said.
“Mainly with the disappointment of relegation, us as players carry that disappointment for a while after the season, especially when I look at the squad we had and I really think it was a strong one to compete in the Championship.

“But we have to hold our hands up and say we didn’t do enough as players. The table doesn’t lie.
“All the uncertainty has not been ideal, not knowing who’s in charge, if and when we will get paid.

"I’m saying that as a player but really you have to feel for all the people who work tirelessly at the football club who go unnoticed that haven’t been paid and the stress it must have been causing them and their families.
“Obviously the best thing to happen is to have clarification on who’s owning the club and have everything sorted out so that everybody can focus fully on their jobs.

“Talking personally, I obviously love playing football so I just want to concentrate on doing that and playing as well as I possibly can.
“I can only imagine the frustration of all the fans with what’s going on and what went on last season.

"They and the club as a whole deserve better, but us as players feel exactly the same.
“I speak to the other lads often so I know we all feel the same and the sooner everything gets sorted the better and everybody can all draw a line under it and start afresh.”

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