Belfast Telegraph

Defeats inspired us, says Murphy

By Graham Luney

As he clutched his sixth league championship medal, Linfield defender William Murphy was asked what qualities the players showed to come home first.

He could have highlighted some of the scintillating football the fans have been served up by the best players in the league.

But he didn't. And that's why Linfield are the champions again.

Instead, Murphy talked about the dark times - the 4-0 hammering dished out by Dungannon Swifts and the Boxing Day defeat to Glentoran.

The best winners hate losing with a passion. Winning is a drug they need and when they don't get it, it hurts like you cannot imagine.

"You look back to October and November time when Dungannon Swifts deservedly beat us 4-0," said the centre-back.

"It could have been a lot more and maybe it was the kick in the teeth the players needed.

"We had to regroup and we did that. On Boxing Day we didn't do ourselves justice against Glentoran. A lot of people questioned our hunger and desire then and said some of our players were too old but we regrouped again and I think we went on the great unbeaten run in the league after that. "

Murphy added: "Everyone knew we had a superior goal difference but we never looked for anyone to do us favours - it was up to us to play to our potential and win the games we needed to win.

"It's wonderful for the fans as well - they are with us through the hard times as well and they are by our side as we travel to places like Institute and Limavady.

"This is their day as well as ours and we are repaying them for their tremendous support.

"We lost two great men this year in David Crawford and Tommy Dickson, two men who were associated with the club for a long time so hopefully we are showing that this team can keep finding success.

"The focus quickly turns to the Irish Cup final and a win there would really represent a fantastic end to another fantastic season."

While Glentoran reflected on the one or two they let get away, Linfield midfielder Oran Kearney was remembering the one who couldn't join in the title celebrations.

"Jim Ervin has just had his operation and he is on crutches so he wasn't able to be at Seaview," he said.

"It isn't all about the players who played against Crusaders. Everyone has put in an unbelievable shift and this title speaks volumes for the consistency and quality shown by all the players.

"Although we have won the league for three years, this is only my second medal because I only played about eight games last season."

Belfast Telegraph


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