Twin threat: Murphy brothers set to go head-to-head
Written by Tom Easterby
Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy says he’ll be treating Saturday’s Premier League game at Cardiff City like any other – even if he and his brother come face-to-face on the flanks.
United travel to Wales to face Neil Warnock’s side this weekend (12.30pm kick-off) and the fixture could be a special occasion for the Murphy family, with the Magpies wideman in line to feature against a Bluebirds side which could include his twin brother Josh.
If the pair do end up playing against each other at some stage in the clash at the Cardiff City Stadium, they would become just the second twins to have gone head-to-head in the top flight, after Michael and Will Keane.
But Jacob, who played alongside his brother during their time at Norwich City, insists that if they do face each other on Saturday, he will be making no concessions as United go in search of their first points of the new campaign.
“We’ve not played against each other competitively – we’ve played against each other in training, but not in an actual match,” the 23-year-old told nufc.co.uk. “It was always alright. We’d always let each other play – we wouldn’t go too hard on each other, especially with it being training.
“But coming into a match situation, you have to just treat it like any other player. If there’s a ball there to be won, I have to win it.
“Once we’re in the game, I know for a fact we’ll be in game mode – if the ball’s there to be won, we’ll both be going to get the ball. It’s going to be no different to any other game.”
He added: “It doesn’t happen too often, so it would be a special occasion for us both, but at the end of the day, the game is bigger than just two twins who could be playing against each other. There are ten other players on each team, so you can’t really focus on two specific individuals – at the end of the day, it’s a team game.”
Josh joined Cardiff from Norwich in the summer, and made his bow in their defeat at Bournemouth last weekend.
The siblings have a close relationship, and Jacob says his brother - having settled into life with the Welsh side - is also relishing the chance to lock horns.
“He’s found it good, he’s settled in well and they’ve got a good set of lads there, so he’s got some new friends and stuff like that. He’s enjoying it so far.
“I keep saying ‘be careful, because I think Jonjo (Shelvey) might try and leave one on you!’” he joked. “But I think he is excited about the opportunity and I know some of the boys in the dressing room are looking forward to coming up against him.”
There will be a considerable Murphy presence in the stands on Saturday, as the family head to Cardiff to take in the game and, potentially, a piece of Premier League history.
“They’re excited for the game,” said Jacob. “I think the best outcome for them would be for both of us to play well, but on the day it’s about whoever is the better side. Whoever wins, wins – I think they’ll be happy with that.”
"It doesn’t happen too often, so it would be a special occasion for us both, but at the end of the day, the game is bigger than just two twins who could be playing against each other."