Football first on Murphy's mind

PA Sport
Danny Murphy is looking forward to a new challenge at Blackburn

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Danny Murphy is looking forward to a new challenge at Blackburn

Danny Murphy claims the prospect of guaranteed first-team football persuaded him to join Blackburn's bid for an instant return to the Barclays Premier League.

Former England international Murphy spent five successful seasons with Fulham, captaining them to the 2010 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, and he told a press conference: "In my whole career I've made decisions based on playing football. (Rovers boss Steve Kean) made it blatantly obvious that he wanted me here to be on the pitch, playing and performing which was a big factor."

He added: "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.

Murphy said: "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'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 added: "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."

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