Murray ready to make loan move

ANTONIO Murray is ready to start at the very bottom to get the experience he needs to force his way into Town's Championship-chasing side, writes Derek Davis.

ANTONIO Murray is ready to start at the very bottom to get the experience he needs to force his way into Town's Championship-chasing side, writes Derek Davis.

League Two strugglers Kidderminster Harriers and Cambridge United have shown an interest in taking the highly-rated young midfielder on loan, and the 20-year-old would relish the challenge.

Murray said: “There is a possibility of me going out on loan and that would be good for me to get experience. You need to be playing every Saturday and it would be great to play in front of a crowd every week.

“That would help my development and hopefully I would come back to Ipswich a better player.”

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Murray is another of the Blues' talented Academy graduates and has made one first-team appearance, as a substitute against Derby County in the last game of the season before last at Pride Park.

The move to Kidderminster didn't happen as Jan Molby quit as a manager but a spell at the U's is still on the cards. As a Cambridge lad, a stint at the Abbey Stadium would suit Murray, who has made eight reserve-team outings for Town this season.

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He said: “I was looking forward to going to Kidderminster but that seems to have died. Cambridge would be good, it is only two minutes from my house there and my dad would be able to come and see me every week.”

Dad James Murray was a former Cambridge United defender who played in the same side as former Blues goalkeeping coach Malcolm Webster, who described him as a speedy, tough tackling left-back.

Murray said: “My dad is my biggest critic but he is terrific and is always there for me giving advice and supporting me.”

Young Murray is more of a play-making midfielder who admires Kieron Dyer and Jim Magilton.

He said: “Jim has been excellent. You look at his consistency and it is amazing really. He is 35 and yet hardly ever seems to get injured. I watch how he plays, his passing - whether he takes a touch or it is first time - and he just never gives the ball away. He has a brilliant footballing brain and is a big influence.

“I always used to watch Kieron when I was growing up and the way he has come back from so many injuries as well is a big inspiration.”

Murray has battled back from a string of setbacks over the past two years and this season suffered a broken toe.

He said: “It was one of those injuries where you can't do too much. I was off three weeks, which was disappointing. I would like to have been involved in more squads but I have been a bit in and out.

“I spoke to Joe Royle about it but he just said 'how many games have you played in the last year?' and I had to admit it wasn't that many.

“So he has told me to get my head down and play more games in the reserves and get my fitness and confidence up and he will play me.

“All I can do is keep trying, do my best in training and games and when my chance comes take it.

“The thing here is our midfield have been so good, so consistent with so few injuries so it has been difficult to break in.”

Blues boss Joe Royle is keen to see Murray progress but is also cautious about losing someone who could step in as emergency cover.

He said: “It has been stop-start for Antonio and he has never really got going. He needs a run of games and he is another player that we are trying to get out on loan.

“It would do him good to go out and play somewhere.

“The other side of that means, as we are desperately short of players, if he did go out on loan it would mean a chance for an Academy player.

“I would like him to go out on loan for his development but it might cause us a problem as a couple of injuries would mean he would be involved here all the time.”

Murray has been added to the squad, which faces Burnley this afternoon.

Town's biggest worry remains Jason De Vos, who travelled north yesterday and will be given until lunch-time today before being ruled out.

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