The sky is the limit for Norwich City’s Jacob Murphy, insists Alan Irvine
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Jacob Murphy is just getting started, pledges Norwich City's interim chief Alan Irvine.
Murphy could cap a superb breakthrough season for the Canaries with an England Under-21 debut on Friday in Germany, after being drafted into Aidy Boothroyd's Young Lions' squad.
The 22-year-old has emerged as a key figure in City's first team after a thumping strike in an opening day win over Blackburn signalled his arrival in the Championship.
Murphy signed a new, longer term deal before Christmas, following speculation touting him with Premier League suitors, and notched his 10th goal of the season in last weekend's 2-0 league win over Barnsley.
'I think he has had an absolutely terrific season,' said Irvine. 'It has been a long, hard season because he has had dips, including fairly recently in terms of his form and confidence, but certainly he can be absolutely delighted with his work until now. There is lots more to come from him and his brother, Josh. They are two exciting players who will be even better next season.'
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Irvine is urging City's support to get behind the club's young talent, after Jacob was targeted by a small minority prior to opening the scoring at Carrow Road last weekend against the Tykes.
'I told him before the game he was going to lose the ball at times, he was going to make mistakes and I didn't care. I just want you to be really positive at all times,' said Irvine.
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'Full marks to him. It was obviously a small group of Norwich fans. If it was Barnsley fans, who did start to sing the same chant thereafter, I could understand it. The vast majority of Norwich fans didn't get involved in that. It doesn't support the player.
'It is an awful lot easier where I stand or where people sit in the stadium but it is a lot more difficult on the pitch. What we don't want to do is discourage him from having attempts at goal.
'To have the shot he did with his left and get the reaction he did could have seen a young player crumble and that wouldn't have been helpful at all.
'Jacob is capable of scoring with his left from there. He scores on his left regularly in training.
'Sometimes you have to accept players get it wrong. It was a poor attempt but I wouldn't blame him for doing that.'