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DANNY ON THE START

Posted on 9 October 2006  - 12:00

Danny Murphy put forward a few reasons of his own when it came to discussing why our start in the Premiership did not meet expectations.

Danny Murphy put forward a few reasons of his own when it came to discussing why our start in the Premiership did not meet expectations.

The seasoned midfield schemer set us on our way to a second league win of the campaign with the opening goal against Portsmouth on Sunday, a victory that will hopefully kick-start our campaign when it resumes after the international break.

The points return from our opening games was not the one anticipated, but Danny points out that the away schedule was tough - games from which just one point was gathered last season.

"Sometimes it is little things and thin lines - which has been mentioned before - but our first three away games were Bolton, Manchester United and Liverpool," said Danny with a spot of cold, hard logic. "They are three difficult away games at any stage of the season and to have them at the beginning and close together is hard.

"At United and Liverpool we felt we could have got more out it, but the most disappointing game of the season was losing at home to a 10-man Everton. It has all built up maybe a bit of a false picture," added Danny, who believes injuries to a couple of key players proved costly.

"We've also had a few problems on the injury front. No disrespect to anyone else, but Ledley was missing at the beginning of the season and he is not just a captain, but a fantastic player. He gives us a solidity at the back that is not there when he is missing - you have to be honest about that.

"Unfortunately, Dimitar only played the first few games and then got injured and he is obviously a big player. There has been a few little factors, but we don't want to hide behind excuses. The start wasn't good enough with the quality of players we've got.

"Sometimes you go through bad spells and it is about how you come out of them and respond to it as a team or an individual that counts. With the week and positive results we've had now, the performances and more good results will hopefully follow.

"It is imperative we get high up in the table because our expectations match those of the fans."

"It is imperative we get high up in the table because our expectations match those of the fans."

Meanwhile, Danny said has own form and contribution to matches will only improve now he has put together a sequence of games in the first team.

"If you get a run of games close together your fitness and confidence improves quite quickly. I think it has been good for me - and out of the four games we have only lost one!

"When you get in you have to gradually build yourself up in terms of your input into a game. In the Fulham game I felt I did okay without really having the impact I wanted to have, Liverpool was a better game for me - apart from the result - and I felt I was imposing myself more. In the last two home games I think I have done well.

"I am getting stronger, not quite at my maximum physically, but the games I have played already will definitely help in that. Getting a goal and a win will help my confidence and that of the team.

"Playing in a winning team is always easier."