GERRY MURPHY believes a set-piece could win tonight’s derby against Leeds – and he’s got Town well prepared.
As part of double training sessions since he took charge, caretaker boss Murphy has had Andy Holdsworth, Robbie Williams and Michael Collins doing extra work on free-kicks and corners.
He’s already been rewarded with Holdsworth’s free-kick goal against Doncaster and, while there were no free-kick chances around the box against Port Vale, Town did have a ‘goal’ disallowed from a corner.
The work continued yesterday and Murphy explained: “It’s a face that 33% of all goals in football come from set-pieces, so I believe in practising them.
“Practice makes the player and Robbie, Andy and Michael have been fantastic in working on them every day.
“We’ve put 60 footballs down for each of them, six in 10 different areas of the box, and they’ve been striking them day after day.
“It takes only 45 minutes or an hour, but I reckon it’s time well spent alongside the other systems we’ve put in place.”
Murphy’s attention to detail meant Town working yesterday as if it were a Friday – and he’s delighted with the response from the squad, allied to all the positive developments off the pitch.
“The attitude has been superb and I have to congratulate the lads on the way they have taken to me and Mitch (academy coach Graham Mitchell),” said Murphy.
“They have done everything that’s been asked of them and that’s not just the starting XI, it’s the lads who were previously regulars who have found themselves on the bench.
“Everyone has pulled together and that sort of spirit will get us a long way.
“The punters want to see entertaining football, they want to see goalmouth incident and players giving it 100%, and that’s been our message all along.
“In a big derby like tonight, it’s the result rather than the performance which is most important and, if we beat Leeds United, the fans will forgive us a lot.”
Murphy says the squad have welcomed news of Dean Hoyle’s arrival at boardroom level and the £100 season-ticket offer for next season – the ticket office is open from 9.30 tomorrow morning.
“It’s all very positive at the moment and it’s what the club needed,” said Murphy.
“Ken Davy needed help with the investment and it will take the club forward. We are pleased about that because it gives the team a real good chance to go to the next level.
“The season-ticket deal is magnificent, a good gesture from the club, and the players will love playing to some big crowds. Everybody loves that and we will get a taste of it tonight.
“All I’m asking of the lads is they give the same commitment and attitude as they’ve given in the last two games. Everyone will be hoping to put one over Leeds.”