Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Murphy rejects talk of England call

Danny Murphy (bottom)

Fulham's Danny Murphy has dismissed talk of a surprise England call-up but praised the appointment of Roy Hodgson.

The former Whites boss was named as successor to Fabio Capello last week and swiftly added Fulham coach Ray Lewington to his backroom staff.

The Fulham connections have seen some suggest Murphy may be in line for a shock call-up for Euro 2012, eight and a half years after collecting his last England cap against Denmark, but the 35-year-old said: "I have not thought about that (playing for England) for a long time. My only thought when I heard he got the job was pleasure for him."

Speaking about the new England boss, Murphy added: "I know what a gentleman he is and what a knowledgeable man he is and the players will certainly go into the Euros knowing what he wants from them. They will be well organised.

"Ray is a terrific coach as well and together they - them two and Mike Kelly - turned Fulham into nearly a Europa League-winning team.

"He will do his country proud. I think he is a terrific coach, an absolute gentleman and I am really pleased for him."

But if England scouts were at Craven Cottage on Sunday, they would have been impressed by another influential performance by the Fulham captain. Murphy led his side to a 2-1 victory over Sunderland to put the Whites on 52 points heading into the season finale against former club Tottenham next weekend.

"It is always nice to finish [your home campaign] with a win," said Murphy, who has yet to extend his contract past the summer.

"I think for the majority of the season, to be honest, we have played well here. The fans have witnessed some good football and I think in spells against Sunderland we played some terrific stuff...

"We are playing for positions in the league, which is for both pride and financial reasons. Let's be honest, every time you finish a couple of places above where you anticipate is good for the club, who get more money from the Premier League, and in terms of your own personal pride to try and beat what we have already done."

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