Josh Murphy admits he owes a debt of gratitude to Chris Hughton, but wants to pay none of it back when Cardiff City face Brighton today.
It was Hughton who gave the Bluebirds winger – an £11million summer signing and arguably the club’s most important asset in the fight to avoid Premier League relegation – his senior debut back in 2013.
Hughton handed Murphy his Norwich bow as an 18-year-old when the teenager rewarded his faith with a goal in a Capital One Cup tie win at Watford.
Whereas Hughton moved on after Norwich to take Brighton into the Premier League, Murphy represented England at various age-grade levels before joining Cardiff as one of manager Neil Warnock’s key pre-season captures.
“I know Chris well from my time at Norwich and it will be good to see him again,” Murphy said.
“He was great. He gave me my debut and I can’t thank him enough for that.
“I remember being nervous but seven minutes after I came on I scored, so it wasn’t too bad.”
Asked if Hughton deserved a bigger job after his success at Brighton – the Seagulls are currently 12th in their second season in the top flight – Murphy said: “It’s up to other people to decide that.
“But I really like him as a man and a manager and he’s done a great job at Brighton.
“I think he’s happy there and long may his success continue, but when the game comes we’ll be trying to put the ball past his team.”
Cardiff returned to the relegation zone last weekend as Huddersfield and Newcastle hurdled them with their first victories of the season.
The Bluebirds were beaten 1-0 at home by Leicester and Murphy acknowledged it was a difficult occasion following the death of the Foxes’ owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash.
“The Leicester boys had lost someone who was close to them and none of us had experienced that weird atmosphere,” he said.
“We handled it the best we could, but it was disappointing how everything panned out in the game.
“You’d probably say this is more of a normal week. Last week was a difficult one for everyone in football, but it’s out of the way now and we go again for Brighton.”
Murphy has been one of the few success stories as Cardiff have struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League.
The 23-year-old’s pace has troubled defences and he has scored twice in his last five appearances.
“I’m enjoying my football and relishing playing week-in and week-out,” Murphy said ahead of Neil Warnock’s 100th game as Cardiff manager.
“For most of the squad coming into the Premier League it’s about adapting and getting used to your surroundings as quick as you can.
“It’s taken a while, but I feel we’re starting to get our rhythm and enjoying the Premier League more than we were at the start of the season.”
Murphy acknowledges that Cardiff have not found it easy to pick up points this season – with just five accumulated after 11 games – but believes some of the form they showed against Leicester and Fulham in their last two home appearances provides a platform from which to build.
“One win and you’re out of the bottom three, so it’s all about playing well and hopefully picking up those results to climb the table.”
“We know our home form is going to be crucial to stay in the league. Leicester was disappointing because we should have got more out of the game, with hitting the crossbar and other chances.
“After the Fulham game we thought this is the performance that we need to put in. We’re waiting for that little bit of luck to fall on our side and maybe pick up two or three wins in a row.
“We know that’s going to be a tough ask, but I don’t think that’s impossible with the group of players we’ve got.”