by Nick Lough
STRIKER Rhys Murphy is determined to fight for his place at Oldham after a prolific loan spell at Crawley – but will weigh up his options if he doesn’t get playing time in the New Year.
The 25-year-old hit nine goals in 16 games while on a three-month loan with the Red Devils.
It followed a frustrating time at Oldham after joining from Dagenham & Redbridge in February.
“Lee Johnson (now Barnsley boss) brought me to the club and, unfortunately for me, a few weeks later he was then moving on himself to a new challenge.
“I could say that I wasn’t fit or I didn’t get a run in the team, but, ultimately, I signed for Oldham and I was there to score goals which I didn’t do.
“This year I came back fit and eager to get started as Oldham had signed me and I hadn’t shown them what I was capable of.”
But with game time limited, the former Arsenal youngster, who has also had a stint in Dutch football, decided to take his chance on loan at Crawley.
“Any striker will tell you confidence is a massive part of the game,” he said. “When you’re scoring goals you feel great. You’re that little bit sharper, there’s no worries and stress, and you look forward to every game.
“There’s no better feeling than scoring goals and helping your team win matches.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Crawley and I knew it would be a platform to go back to Oldham in good form.”
Now the former Republic of Ireland U-21 international needs to find out whether his free-scoring form in League Two and general sharpness will help him to earn a chance with David Dunn’s League One Latics.
Murphy stressed the key for him is to be playing week in, week out.
“The transfer window opens next week and I’m not sure what’s going to happen next – it’s out of my hands,” he added.
“I’m back at Oldham and there’s football to be played over Christmas and New Year. I’m in with the squad and I’m keeping my head down and working hard to get myself into the team.
“I’ve spent the last few months playing regularly and nobody wants to be sitting in the stands. I’m going to be doing all I can to get in the team, but if that doesn’t happen I’ll have to explore other options.”
*This article was originally published in The FLP on 27 December 2015.