Alan Knight: My sympathy for Brian Murphy

It was good to chat to Brian Murphy at the training ground yesterday.

Brian Murphy looks dejected after Pompey's FA Cup draw at Ipswich Picture: Joe Pepler
Brian Murphy looks dejected after Pompey's FA Cup draw at Ipswich Picture: Joe Pepler

I had popped down to get some things signed for charity and, as ever, he was helpful and obliging.

It gave me the opportunity to let him know I am well aware of what he is currently experiencing. No goalkeeper, dead or alive, has gone through a career without making a mistake.

Murph is not having a lot of luck at present, but that is how it goes for goalkeepers.

He made a misjudgment on Saturday against Ipswich for their late equaliser, but it is about how he responds to that setback. He has to learn and move on.

The lad knows that, he is not blaming anyone else or trying to hide. He will be out there again on Saturday at Accrington, giving his all and doing his best.

And I can truly empathise.

Last Thursday I attended a Disabled Supporters’ Association meeting at Fratton Park and we were watching footage of the 1992-93 campaign.

That was the year we lost to Leicester City in the play-offs, although probably should have gone up.

Yet I had to leave halfway through because I had an absolute nightmare in the first half of that season and couldn’t watch any more!

I was conceding a hell of a lot of goals and was poor – then we went on a fantastic run

It’s easy when you are retired and sitting on the sidelines, sometimes you forget mistakes you made when playing and the fact that everything wasn’t rosy.

But it happens to all goalkeepers, not just me, not only Murph, but plenty of others.

Looking at that Portman Road goal, when the free-kick came in it was windy and you can get caught under the ball a little bit. Suddenly you get a nudge and you are off-balance.

I am not trying to defend Murph, it’s a mistake and these things happen.

To me it wasn’t a foul and neither would I point the finger at one of the defenders.

At Pompey this season you are not particularly overworked in goal, your concentration has to be 110 per cent and remain switched on, even through periods of not having anything to do.

People don’t realise quite how hard that is. Diving around making saves is the easy part of goalkeeping, it’s maintaining your concentration which can be testing.

Even against a Championship side like Ipswich, Murphy was not particularly overworked.

Unfortunately you have to take the abuse and stuff that goes with it – but keep your head up and carry on.