Pompey keeper gets Smith backing

Pompey keeper Brian Murphy Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey keeper Brian Murphy Picture: Joe Pepler

  • Brian Murphy has 11 clean sheets in 24 Pompey appearances
  • A total of five keepers have been named in Blues squads this season
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In Brian Murphy, Pompey have a safe pair of hands to steer them through the play-offs.

That is the verdict of Michael Smith, who is convinced the Blues’ only fit goalkeeper will not let them down.

You look at his career and the levels he has played – and on Saturday he showed the quality he possesses in those two saves

Michael Smith

Murphy was given his first start since January for last weekend’s trip to Hartlepool.

He responded with a man-of-the-match display in the 2-0 victory – a performance which consisted of two excellent one-on-one stops in the second half.

The 32-year-old’s display was a heartening sight in the continued absence of Paul Jones (thigh), Ryan Fulton (thigh) and Alex Bass (knee).

Paul Cook couldn’t even name a substitute keeper on the bench at Victoria Park.

Smith made 16 appearances in a Fratton Park loan spell before its expiry after Saturday’s game.

And having seen Murphy at first hand, the striker is convinced the former QPR stopper will excel for Pompey.

He said: ‘He was very good on Saturday, we know how good Murph is and those saves could have changed the game. They were massive.

‘He was injured when I first arrived at the club, but I have trained with him a bit and done some shooting against him so know how frustrating it can be for strikers trying to score past him.

‘You look at his career and the levels he has played – and on Saturday he showed the quality he possesses in those two saves.

‘That is the sign of a top keeper – he’s had nothing to do then produces something like that. Murphy has that ability in abundance.

‘It’s frustrating for Paul (Jones) at the business end of the season, but I’m sure he will come back stronger.

‘Murphy has experience and I’m certain will be alright for Portsmouth in the play-offs.’