Jamie Murphy is confident Sheffield United possess the firepower required to propel themselves towards promotion, writes James Shield.
And Murphy, who is poised to start today’s League One opener against Bristol City, predicted the signing of Michael Higdon from NEC Nijmegen will prove a masterstroke after lavishing praise on his former team mate at Motherwell.
The two men scored a combined total of 89 goals for the Scottish Premier League club before leaving Fir Park.
But, following Higdon’s arrival in South Yorkshire earlier this week, Murphy told The Star: “He’s a goal scorer. If he gets a chance he will at least hit the target and make the goalkeeper work.
“When a cross goes in the box, you know he is going to be on the end of it, there or thereabouts. He’s a big guy, a big loud scouser and a good character to have in the changing room.
“Michael and I had a good partnership up there. We started off together as the two strikers - playing two up front - before I moved to the left.
“We both got goals when we played together so let’s hope that continues.”
Although Murphy believes Higdon can turbo-charge a side which averaged just over a goal per game last term, the 30-year-old centre-forward is not the only weapon in United’s attacking armoury.
“Having strikers like Michael, Jose (Baxter), Marc (McNulty) and Ports (Chris Porter) means you can put a terrible cross in and they’ll finish it off,” Murphy, who netted seven times during the previous campaign, added. “It makes you look good and them even better.
“I am always looking to improve, to score more goals from the previous year, so hopefully I can do that.”
Nigel Clough indicated he would assess Higdon’s fitness before naming his starting eleven for City’s visit. The United manager is confident that Craig Alcock, Jose Baxter, Stefan Scougall and Bob Harris will all be available for selection after missing training earlier this week but James Wallace could be rested due to a groin problem.
Murphy, warning City are dangerous opponents, said: “I am expecting them to be pushing this year because they are a big club.
“Last year, I think they will be disappointed with their start to the season like us. But they also lifted things at the end and showed they will be a good team and a tough test.
“I’m sure they’ll be saying the same things about us.”