Graham Cummins on how Cork City striker Cian Murphy has grown this season

Colin Healy's side have managed just two wins on the road in the SSE Airtricity League First Division, so will need Murphy on the goal trail again away to UCD
Graham Cummins on how Cork City striker Cian Murphy has grown this season

Cork City's Cian Murphy celebrates a goal at Turner's Cross with Darragh Crowley. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

TONIGHT SSE Airtricity League First Division: UCD v Cork City: UCD Bowl, 7.45pm.

IT’S the last game on the road for City this season and Colin Healy will be hoping his side can finish with a victory.

Although City are currently on a five-game unbeaten streak away from home, the Rebel Army have secured only two wins away from Turner’s Cross and that issue will need to be addressed if they are to get promoted next year.

It’s been a disappointing campaign for City. Even though it is a young side, we all expected a little bit more than we have witnessed from City. However, one aspect of their game that we can’t question this group of City players for is their attitude.

Yes, there have been occasions where they have not been good enough, but they are always committed.

Dylan McGlade of Cork City in action against Cian Kelly of Wexford at Turner's Cross. Picture: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile
Dylan McGlade of Cork City in action against Cian Kelly of Wexford at Turner's Cross. Picture: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

Against Wexford, those players could have easily gone through the motions, but they put on a show for the supporters at Turner’s Cross and I’m sure they will be keen to do the same against UCD again tonight.

The UCD Bowel is one of the toughest grounds in the league to play at. There’s never a big crowd there.

It doesn’t feel like a real football ground because when entering you drive through a college campus and arrive at a stadium that has only one small stand at one side of the pitch. It’s never enjoyable as a player playing into goals that have no supporters behind them.

Although the dressing rooms are a nice size, there are no bathrooms in them. There are only bathrooms that are shared between the two teams down the hall.

That’s something I don’t like because players are constantly in and out of the dressing room and make it more difficult to build a sense of ‘us against them’ because you are constantly bumping into opposition players.

UCD are used to that, but the City players won’t be and the facilities can lure players into the false sense that it is a meaningless game.

City have to approach the game with the same mentality as they did against Wexford.

Dale Holland of Cork City in action against Jack Doherty of Wexford. Picture: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile
Dale Holland of Cork City in action against Jack Doherty of Wexford. Picture: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

Healy’s side put in a professional performance against the side bottom of the division and deserved their four-goal win.

One of City’s goalscorers that night was Cian Murphy, and after the game, Healy spoke about how the striker has proven his doubters wrong with his 11-goal return this season.

I must admit; I was one of those doubters and I’m happy to have been proven wrong. Murphy deserves all the rewards he is getting.

The striker is a sincere person, who is always looking to improve.

From my experience playing alongside Murphy, he was a player that always listened and tried to learn from senior players. He has the right attitude and you can see that from the way he plays.

He works tirelessly for his teammates and it’s clear to see that even though he has had a very successful season, he is not a player that is going to let that affect him in the wrong manner by letting his ego grow. Murphy looks like a player that will continue to improve.

Why did I doubt him? Because at the start of the season, he seemed like a striker that didn’t care if he scored or not.

Murphy was always running channels and rarely got into dangerous positions.

He was doing a lot of his work outside of the penalty box, and although strikers are expected to work hard for the team, it is more important that they score goals.

Now, Murphy is still working hard for the team but once he lays the ball off, he is making sure he is getting into the box. He is showing more desire to get on the scoresheet.

The Tipperary native has become a stronger player. His composure when given an opportunity in front of goal — which was evident with his goal against Wexford — and the development in his hold-up play and bringing others around him into the game has been his biggest improvement.

Healy has admitted that he is looking to recruit players next season, and does the development of Murphy this season mean I don’t think City will recruit a striker?

No, I still feel City need to, and will add to their frontline, but Murphy has been the player that has probably proven most of us wrong.

Tonight, Murphy will be on a mission to add to his goal tally.

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