Jacob's pride after Magpies bow
Written by Tom Easterby
New recruit Jacob Murphy revealed his pride at finally pulling on a Newcastle United shirt for the first time in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Preston North End.
The 22-year-old completed his move from Norwich City earlier in the week, and the boyhood Magpies fan was named on the bench for the weekend friendly at Deepdale by manager Rafa Benitez.
Murphy was introduced at the break as United sought a winner, and having made his bow in front of a travelling crowd of almost 3,000, the England Under-21 international spoke of his pride at seeing the badge on his chest for the first time.
“It was a relief to finally pull it on. It’s taken me all week to get it on, but it was nice to look down at my chest and see the badge,” he told nufc.co.uk.
“I know I’ve got a job to do for the team, and I know the expectations from the fans when you’re wearing this club crest.
“It was nice to get the jersey on. It was a proud moment for myself and my family, and it was good to get some minutes under my belt too.”
After a whirlwind first few days as a Newcastle player, Murphy said the 45 minutes he played in Lancashire were welcome as he continues to settle in to his new surroundings and build up his fitness ahead of his first campaign in black and white.
“You’ve got to make an impact straight away. I need to gain that fitness back, and then I’ll be raring to go soon,” he said.
“It’s been good. It’s been a little bit tough to start with as the boys are a few weeks ahead of me so it’s been a bit hundred-miles-an-hour to start with, but I’m slowly getting into things.
“All the boys need to get up to speed fitness-wise and we look forward to the games, because that’s ultimately where we’re going to get that fitness.
“I’ve only had three sessions this pre-season, so it was good to get minutes today and get my legs ticking over, and I look forward to Wednesday and hopefully some more minutes then.”
Murphy is one of a number of wide options Benitez has in his squad, with Rolando Aarons, Christian Atsu and Matt Ritchie the already established wingers at United, and youngsters Victor Fernandez and Callum Roberts – who was also a second half substitute at Preston – having spent time with the first team during their training camp in Ireland last week.
And Murphy says he is looking forward to the challenge of earning a place in Benitez’s side.
“It’s healthy. It’ll keep everyone on their toes,” he said of the competition for places on the flanks. “You know you can’t rest on your laurels here – you could be in one game, but the next game you could be out. Everyone knows they’ve got to fight for their place.
“It raises everyone’s games – not just for myself but the other boys in my position – and it’s competition I look forward to having.”
Newcastle head to Bradford City on Wednesday night, before two trips to Germany to face Mainz and Wolfsburg, and Murphy wants to show the United faithful what he can do as he and his new team step up their preparations for the start of the Premier League season.
“I just want to get as many minutes as I can, and get some victories in these pre-season games and ideally learn my new teammates’ styles, for them to get to know me a bit better, and then hopefully we’ll be raring to go,” he said.
“I know I’ve got to put my flag in the sand, but I’m more than capable of doing it and it’s just a case of taking that chance when it comes.”
"I know I’ve got a job to do for the team, and I know the expectations from the fans when you’re wearing this club crest."