'It won't be for the lack of trying' - another obstacle Portsmouth, Derby, QPR and Sunderland must overcome to land in-demand winger

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Des Buckingham is determined to keep hold of Oxford United play-off final hero Josh Murphy.

The U’s boss insisted he will do everything he can to have the winger at the Kassam Stadium for their return to the Championship next season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And he revealed work on that front started as soon as possible after the final whistle sounded on the U’s’ Wembley victory against Bolton on Saturday. When Oxford were lifting the play-off final trophy, in fact, as the delighted Buckingham started plotting for an exciting future for the club.

Murphy, who bagged both goals in the win against Wanderers and is heading into the final weeks of his current contract, has this week been linked with a move to Pompey. Derby, QPR, Hull and Sunderland have also been credited with an interest in the former £11m Cardiff signing, which ensures Oxford might have their work cut out convincing the winger to extend his two-year stay.

The Championship new-boys received a boost when Murphy revealed a desire to remain with Oxford. Now, Buckingham is poised to deliver any would-be suitor another blow by going all out to make that happen.

When asked by SportsBoom.com if Murphy would be staying, the Oxford boss said: ‘I hope so! I said that to him when we were up lifting the trophy. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘We will do as much as we possibly can to keep Josh. We want good people at this club. He is a very good footballer and fits our style of football. If we can keep him and he wants to stay, we will do everything we can and it won’t be for the lack of trying.’

Pompey are looking to strengthen in wide areas this summer as they, too, plan for life in the Championship. Abu Kamara has returned to Norwich following an impressive loan spell at Fratton Park, while Gavin Whyte and Anthony Scully both failed to have the impact many hoped for following their permanent moves from Cardiff and Wigan respectively.

Paddy Lane will continue to be a mainstay of the Pompey team in the Championship following his 12 goals and seven assists in the Blues’ League One title-winning season.

Murphy has scored 10 goals and recorded eight assists in 62 appearances for the U’s following his move from Cardiff in 2022.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.