So why the sudden return to form? City forward has a straightforward answer
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Three is the magic number for Josh Murphy – and it could prove likewise for Norwich City for the rest of the Championship season.
The Canaries’ academy product has returned to his potent best in recent matches, underlined by a scintillating performance in City’s 3-2 win over Reading on Saturday.
And there is no doubt in Murphy’s mind where that form has come from, with head coach Daniel Farke starting to favour a forward three that includes Murphy on the left and thriving.
It is the same role in which the winger caught the eye back in his FA Youth Cup-winning days, and has already proven more productive than Murphy’s recent time playing as a more central forward.
“The confidence has always been there,” said Murphy. “It’s just where I’m playing on the pitch. When I’m playing my normal game and doing the things I like doing, you can see I can get past people eight or nine times out of 10.
“So it’s good just getting on the ball because I’m hungry to get past people, get the ball in the box and get assists.
“That’s what I can do and that’s what the game plan was here with me and Onel (Hernandez) – keeping the width, being as dangerous as we can, putting the ball in the box and seeing what happens.
“A lot of players don’t like pace, which we can bring. And with Madders (James Maddison) in the pocket, you’ve then got three players teams need to watch carefully.”
January signing Hernandez is another now looking the part – and the Cuban-born winger is already reminding Murphy of someone closer to home.
“You can see Onel is just like a bulldog out there,” said Murphy. “He bullies everyone and anyone he plays against. You could see the pace and the power. He was awesome.
“It reminds of playing with Jacob a little bit, and it’s just good to see that. I know he’s going to get the ball, take someone on and get it in the box – so I’m always in there trying to get on the end of it. And it’s the same with him when I get on the ball.”
It was a big day for Murphy, marking his 100th Canaries appearance against the Royals – more than twice the number his twin brother managed before departing for Newcastle United in the summer.
“I’m proud of reaching that,” added Josh. “It feels like I’m part of the furniture here now, and it was good to get out there for my 100th appearance.
“I’d have liked to have topped it off with a goal, but a win will do fine. So now it’s just building on it, keep playing and doing well.”
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