‘I felt lonely’ - Josh Murphy opens up on mental struggle at City after brother’s exit

Josh, left, and Jacob Murphy celebrate City's 5-0 Championship win over Brentford at Carrow Road in December 2016 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Josh, left, and Jacob Murphy celebrate City's 5-0 Championship win over Brentford at Carrow Road in December 2016 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Josh Murphy has opened up on how difficult he found life at Norwich City following the exit of his twin brother Jacob, revealing that he turned to a psychologist for support.

The speedy wingers had emerged as stars of City’s academy, playing integral roles in the FA Youth Cup triumph of 2013 and eventually breaking into the first team after loan spells.

It was following relegation from the Premier League in 2016 that their big chance came but it was Jacob who shined brightest, being sold to Newcastle for around £12.5million in the summer of 2017 after eight goals and eight assists in 37 Championship games.

“I felt lonely,” Josh revealed. “For 22 years we had been with each other all the time, so I was like: he’s taken it to the next stage, he’s in the Premier League, he’s got a move he always wanted, what am I going to do about myself?

“I’m still at Norwich, will I ever be able to play in the Premier League, you always have those thoughts. But at the same time, like Jacob has said, if one of us can do it than the other one can too.

“I know I’m only two minutes older than him but I feel like the protective big brother, so that’s where he doesn’t worry as much as me.”

Josh had chipped in with four goals and six assists during 2016-17 but the brothers were rarely played at the same time and it wasn’t until the summer of 2018 that his move to promoted Cardiff was sealed in a deal worth in excess of £10m, having scored seven goals that season.

Speaking to former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand for a Youtube video about brothers who have played top level football, Murphy continued: “It was tough, because me and Jac had a set routine of everything to do. Even stuff like Jacob was always the cook and when everything gets taken away from you, how you just bounce off someone so much and it’s almost like you lose part of you.

“My routines were messed up and I felt a little bit lost to start with. I think it was because he went in pre-season, so I had other stuff to worry about, but as the season went on things were getting tougher.

“I had him there through text but I needed someone there with me. So I started seeing a psychologist just to help me get through and then from seeing that person in Norwich, I ended up kicking on at the end of the season and that’s what eventually got me my move to Cardiff and the Premier League.”

- You can watch the full video above, also featuring Ferdinand’s brother Anton and the Keane brothers, Will and Michael, of Ipswich and Everton respectively

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