Keith Hill’s side go to Spotland tomorrow looking to start clawing back a 17-point gap between themselves and fourth-bottom, something no side in living memory has managed to achieve at this level of football.
Records show that Bolton’s haul of seven points from 21 games – albeit with 12 points deducted for going into administration – is the lowest in the last 15 years. Although taking away the EFL penalty, that dubious honour falls to Southend United, who currently occupy the place above them in the table.
Seven-goal Murphy is confident that with the EFL ruling now safely pushed to one side, that the club can make an improbable push.
But he accepts that results against sides around them in the table, a category into which Rochdale most certainly fall, must improve quickly.
“Obviously when I first came in I didn’t know a lot about the teams around us in the table,” he said. “Of the ones we’ve played so far, we’ve had better results against some of the better teams.
“It’s against teams who are in and around us where we’ve not played as well.
“Against Southend just before Christmas, for example, it wasn’t the best of games – certainly not from our point of view – but we won, which was the main thing.
“It doesn’t matter how you do it. Three points is all that matters, at the end of the day.
“We’ve played games where we’ve been brilliant and not got a result so I’d rather win the game, even if we haven’t played so well.
“We need to get above three teams, which is a tough ask given the start we’ve had, but there’s a long way to go.
“We have some games in hand so who knows what will happen? We don’t know if any more players will come in but we’re trying to be as positive as we can, given the position we’re in.”
Murphy has led the line since quitting Nottingham Forest in August and with a 37th birthday just around the corner in March, feels comfortable with the responsibility of being Bolton’s chief goal-getter.
“I knew about the responsibility when I signed – because everyone was telling me,” he said. “I’m big enough and old enough now to realise that and get on with it. You get used to it.
“It is a challenge because of the position we’re in but I knew how hard it was going to be going in but we’ve had a few decent results and we know we need a lot more if we’re going to get out of it.”