SHEFFIELD UNITED: Jamie Murphy happy with duel role

No return: Mark Howard didn't feature in United's under 21 match
No return: Mark Howard didn't feature in United's under 21 match

JAMIE Murphy did not seek assurances about his role in Danny Wilson’s team before joining Sheffield United.

The former Motherwell attacker, who is poised to make his second appearance since leaving Motherwell against Yeovil Town this weekend, was rumoured to have rejected a transfer to Blackpool in January after demanding to play as a centre-forward. Murphy rejected those claims when he was unveiled as Wilson’s latest acquisition six days ago.

Having been deployed through the middle and along the flank during his debut at Oxford, the former Scotland under-21 international said: “The most important thing for me isn’t where I play but helping the group and the team as a whole. That’s what I’m here to do.

“Whatever the manager asks of me, I just want to contribute. I’m not taking anything for granted at all because there are lots of really good players here.

“I’m focused on working hard, doing my job and trying to help us get to where we want to be.”

Murphy was being tracked by both Huddersfield Town and Glasgow Rangers before arriving at Bramall Lane while Hull City and Burnley were also preparing to swoop had his deal at Fir Park been allowed to expire.

But a combination of United’s persistence and some words of advice from Motherwell manager Stuart McCall persuaded him to pursue a career with Wilson’s side instead.

Blackpool thought they had acquired Murphy’s services midway through last season but the Motherwell’s potential involvement in Champions League qualifying - “I wanted the chance to play in Europe” - convinced him to stay put.

United, who beat Yeovil 1-0 in September, are preparing to Gary Johnson’s side third in the League One table. Yeovil are 10th and entered last night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie with Leyton Orient having won three of their previous four games.

Fulham centre-back Dan Burn recently extended his loan spell at Huish Park while Middlesbrough’s Matthew Dolan has also arrived on a temporary basis. However Johnson has allowed Curtis Haynes-Brown to join Cambridge.

Meanwhile, United did not include goalkeeper Mark Howard in the under-21 team which beat Wigan Athletic 1-0 yesterday lunchtime.

Wilson had indicated Howard, who has been absent since October with a muscle problem, could feature against the Premier League outfit.

United, who triumphed 1-0 courtesy of Danny Philliskirk’s effort, return to Professional Development League action when they travel to Yorkshire rivals Leeds next week.

Meanwhile, Wilson has allowed Alfreton to extend Matthew Harriott’s loan.

The midfielder will now remain with the Conference club until February 12 before returning to Bramall Lane.