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McLeish: Murphy has turned corner
Published : 14 May 2010 11:49:00
irmingham boss Alex McLeish has challenged David Murphy to put a season of frustration behind him and come back firing on all cylinders. Full-back Murphy suffered a broken kneecap 13 months ago and spent the majority of City's first season back in the top flight on the sidelines. But he returned as a substitute at the tail-end of the campaign and now McLeish wants him to spend the summer building up his fitness so he is ready to compete for a spot. McLeish said: "David tried to come back at various stages but had a really bad time with his kneecap problem. "He had setbacks when he was looking to return and I know at one stage he was really low in morale, but then he turned the corner. "He came back and had one or two wee niggly muscle injuries as opposed to the knee flaring up again. "But at least he finished the season back in the squad and now he has got to go away in the summer and make sure he comes back really strong. "It's important that the players all have a holiday, but they know the demands of the Premier League and they know that they must come back in good shape these days." Meanwhile, McLeish has sympathy for another full-back in Gregory Vignal who is among the players he has decided to release after not taking up a 12-month option on his contract. Vignal looked set to be first-choice left-back at the start of the campaign but was beset by a string of various injuries and could not regain his place because of the form of Liam Ridgewell. McLeish said: "I'm sure it was a frustrating season for Gregory because I was frustrated about losing him for so long at different times with different injuries. "He started against Sporting Gijon in the pre-season friendly and I said the position was his to lose. "Then he took a hamstring injury in the next game and that was the start of his woes. Liam Ridgewell came in and played so well that, when Gregory was fit, I couldn't replace Ridgewell. We wish him well."