Norwich City boss Chris Hughton pleased with Murphy twins’ progress
PUBLISHED: 12:19 16 January 2013 | UPDATED: 12:19 16 January 2013
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Manager Chris Hughton has spoken of his delight at the latest goalscoring exploits of Norwich City’s Murphy twins – and hopes their promotion to the professional ranks is just the start of great things for the highly-rated brothers.
Josh and Jacob Murphy, 17, signed professional contracts with the Canaries earlier this month, taking them to the end of the 2014-15 season.
Jacob has since celebrated with two hat-tricks, one in the 6-3 Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final win over King’s Lynn Town, and another in the space of 18 minutes in City Under-21s’ 5-0 win over Stoke at Nantwich on Friday night, when his identical twin Josh was also on the scoresheet with the opening goal.
Hughton admits they will not be rushed into the first team picture, though he has already included Josh Murphy as one of his substitutes for the Capital One Cup tie against Doncaster back in September.
“They’re doing very, very well,” said Hughton after the latest headline-grabbing display by the Downham Market pair.
“They’re two young, developing players and we’re delighted to have secured their contracts. We just hope they continue to develop in the same way. Where they are at the moment is probably that little way away from first team football but their development has been excellent.”
He added: “I have no problem putting young players on the bench providing their development is good and providing they deserve to be there. But I’ve also got a good squad here and if you’re looking at the players on the bench against Newcastle, they very much deserve to be there.”
The City boss is nevertheless encouraged by what he has seen from the club’s Academy since taking over as manager last summer.
“I think certainly with Category One status we need to make sure we’re very proactive to continue to develop. It’s always going to be a little bit tougher in this area because of the catchment area, but I am encouraged and I just hope we continue doing that,” he said.
The Murphy brothers are not 18 until next month but have already represented England in two age groups this season.
They played in England Under-19s’ 1-0 win over Finland in Telford in November. The previous month, they made simultaneous debuts for England Under-18s in a 2-0 victory over Italy at Mansfield.
On getting their professional contracts, City Under-21 boss Scott Marshall said: “We want them to go and fulfil the potential they’ve got.
“It’s great to get a bit of recognition but now they need to chase their next contract and get in and among the first-team squad.
“We’re trying to create Premier League players and we need to keep improving the little rough edges that are there and get the best out of them.”