A devoted follower of Rangers, Jamie Murphy knows what a club in crisis looks like, writes James Shield.
So, having spent 37 months chronicling the meltdown at Ibrox, he can declare with absolute certainty that Sheffield United, whatever the doom-mongers might say, definitely aren’t one right now.
“The last few games have been disappointing,” the former Scotland under-21 international acknowledged. “Especially since we’d been doing so well up to that point.
“We just need to get ourselves back on track now and try and get those wins. It’s part and parcel of football.
“Dusting yourself down, getting back up and learning to stay strong and move forward.”
Life is pretty good for Murphy at the moment. Both on and off the pitch.
He travels to Walsall this evening searching for his 11th goal of the new season, clutching a new improved contract and coming to terms with the demands of fatherhood.
“In January, the 13th to be exact, I became a dad. It’s been going well, she’s great and another supporter.
“I am sure people work nine to five and go home and help. Some may see their kids less than I do and I am privileged to be able to go home early and see them.
“You worry less about other things definitely. I just save all my worry for her. It just lets you focus more on playing football.
“It would be nice to get promoted, that’s what we are all in it for. I’m sure my family would say no different, they want to see us get promoted as well.”
United could do a lot worse than adopt the same calm, composed approach as they attempt to negotiate safe passage through the remaining 11 games of the League One campaign. Fifth in the table - 15 points behind second-placed Preston North End but only one above Peterborough in seventh - Murphy, speaking at the Redtooth Academy earlier this month, is nevertheless refusing to rule anything in or out.
“There’s always a belief. We are never going to give up, I tell you that.
“This is a strong, tight bunch and, no matter what other people might do, giving-up is not in our make-up. We don’t do that here.
“We will go right until the last game of the season. If it is mathematically impossible, you try and go for the best place in the play-offs.
“But until then, we’ll definitely try and push up. We go into every single game wanting to get the victory and let’s see where it takes us.
United drew at Scunthorpe last weekend following successive home defeats by Peterborough and Fleetwood Town. Jay McEveley has declared himself available for selection at the Bescot Stadium despite nursing a painful shoulder complaint.
Nigel Clough’s players left the field to a chorus of boos after losing to the visitors from Highbury but Murphy, admitting that criticism, warranted or otherwise, is part of his job description said: “I am sure the fans will cheer us off the park if we win.
“Away games are all about not getting beat and trying to get the three points if we can. There’s never a game we go and try and draw, we always try and win.
“Usually after a defeat, you want to play straightaway. But I think it’s a bit different after playing seven or eight midweeks in a row in the last couple of months.
“At this point of the year, we don’t need to do a lot (of fitness work) on the training pitch. It’s just preparation and getting everything right for playing Saturday to Saturday, which we’ve not had lately.”
Although 257 miles and 110 major trophies separate United from Murphy’s beloved Rangers, they also boast plenty in common. Not least, the winger explained, expectancy levels which are often impossible to meet.
“Everyone thinks we are just going to win, it’s not easy, especially in a league like this,” he said. “We will do the right things and everything we can to get the three points.
“That’s all we ever do. Give everything we’ve got.”