Ronan Murray faces pivotal 12 weeks at Plymouth Argyle
PUBLISHED: 18:34 31 January 2013 | UPDATED: 18:34 31 January 2013
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The next 12 weeks or so will be pivotal in the young career of Ronan Murray, as the Ipswich Town striker looks to cement both his and Plymouth Argyle’s future in the Football League.
New Plymouth boss John Sheridan swooped for the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, following recommendations from several figures in the game, including former Ipswich manager, Paul Jewell.
Following a successful temporary spell at Swindon Town, last season, in which he helped the Robins to promotion – with three goals in 20 games – Murray now faces a very different type of run-in with the West Country club third-from-bottom in League Two.
The ideal scenario would be for Murray to be a prolific scorer during his time at Home Park and return to Portman Road with a new contract in the offing.
However, out-of-contract in the summer, the striker, 21, is realistic over his future.
“At the end of the day, Ipswich Town is a fantastic club,” said Murray, who was the subject of a failed £100,000 bid from Swindon last season.
“I have been there nearly six years now and I know how big a club it is.
“Ideally I would like to play in week in, week out, impress Mick McCarthy and stay there for years to come, but if that does not work then I may have to look elsewhere.
“I wanted to get out and play games and it is nice to know when someone wants you.
“I have been training every day with the reserves so when the opportunity came along to go to Plymouth, I took it.”
Ironically, it was Jewell, a manager who kept Murray very much on the periphery of things during his time at Portman Road, who gave a glowing endorsement of Murray’s credentials.
The County Mayo-born product also has two other Portman Road figures to thank for his temporary switch to Devon.
“It was Paul Jewell who first recommended me but I know John Sheridan spoke to a few people including (fitness coach) Andy Liddle, who he played with and (reserve-team coach) Mark Kennedy,” said Murray, who has yet to score for Ipswich.
Murray played for the duration in Plymouth’s 0-0 draw at home to Accrington, on Saturday, having made his debut in the 2-1 home win over Morecambe, setting up Paris Cowan-Hall for his side’s second goal.
“The new manager came in and the win really set the tone at the club,” said Murray, who has also spent time on loan with Plymouth’s near-neighbours, Torquay United.
“I can’t comment on what went before but the lads have been training well under the new boss and we want to keep the momentum going.”
A scorer in Murray’s first game for Argyle was his new neighbour, Conor Hourihane, who spent a year at Portman Road without making an appearance, after his switch from Sunderland when Roy Keane made him his first signing.
“We live on the same floor in Plymouth and I know him through the youth system in Ireland and obviously at Ipswich,” he said.
“It was nice to know there was someone down there to show me ropes.”