Promise of playing lured Murphy

Prospect of regular playing time appealed to midfielder

Danny Murphy: Prospect of regular playing time appealed to midfielder

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Danny Murphy says the prospect of guaranteed first-team football tempted him to Blackburn as the club bid to return to the Premier League.

Former England international Murphy spent five successful seasons with Fulham, captaining them to the 2010 UEFA Europa League final under the guidance of current national boss Roy Hodgson.

After making 48 appearances in all competitions last season, the 35-year-old remains intent on regular game time - something Rovers boss Steve Kean made clear was on the agenda.

Playing

"First and foremost, in my whole career I've made decisions based on playing football," Murphy told a press conference at Ewood Park.

"Steve made it blatantly obvious that he wanted me here to be on the pitch, playing and performing which was a big factor.

"The conversation I'd had with Fulham was they wanted me to stay but they were maybe looking at bringing someone in to play instead of me rather than competing with me.

"I didn't want to go down the road of finishing my career sitting, playing the odd game here and there. I'd rather be part of a new challenge and a project and that's what this gave me."

Kean envisages respected pro Murphy playing a role in the development of the club's young talent, but the player himself wants to delay the transition to full-time coach for as long as possible.

"I had a chat with (England assistant manager) Ray Lewington a couple of days before I signed and he made a very valid point to me - you're a long time finished so don't worry too much about the coaching aspect yet," he explained.

"He's seen me play for a long time and I believe I've got the quality to keep playing. I think my level of performance and the amount of games that I've played has been a match for anyone."

Nevertheless, Murphy admits the decision to turn his back on a top-flight career that has taken in spells with Liverpool, Charlton and Tottenham was difficult to stomach at first.

He said: "Initially I was a little bit reluctant in that respect, but the more I thought about it, the more influence I thought I could have at this level.

"I don't think I have anything to prove in my career. I think my ego was initially what I worried about, but playing in the Championship is another challenge for me and one I'm really looking forward to."

Despite ongoing changes behind the scenes at Blackburn and a significant level of vitriolic dissent from supporters, Kean remains the man charged with ensuring the 1994/95 champions return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

After admiring displays from veteran playmakers such as Italy's Andrea Pirlo at Euro 2012, the Scot believes a player he worked with as a coach at Fulham can bring a similar classy assurance to the Rovers midfield.

Pivotal

"It's a pivotal signing for us," he said. "I think we can all look over the last couple of evenings and see that if you've got someone on the pitch who can control the flow and the pace of the game, even at a slightly older age, they can have a massive effect.

"That's what I expect Danny to be able to do - run games and control the tempo.

"What's gone is gone. It's a fresh challenge and we're building a squad that is moving forward and progressive."