Murphy recruited to solve Blues striking options

Rhys Murphy arrived at Southend United charged with the task of firing the Blues towards an instant return to the EFL following their relegation at the conclusion of last season.

Shot-shy Blues found the net just 29 times during their 46 Sky Bet League Two matches – a statistic which all but sealed their relegation, despite conceding just 58, a figure shared with Morecambe, who were promoted via the play-offs.

Murphy netted 33 goals during a 63-match stint at fellow Vanarama National Leaguers, Yeovil Town, and is optimistic he can help turn the situation around at Roots Hall Stadium.

“It’s nice to get the move sorted nice and early so there’s no stress over the summer and I’m already looking forward to getting in, meeting everyone for pre-season and getting started,” the Shoreham-born frontman enthused.

“There’s been a few noises about the move and it’s been kept quiet until now so it’s nice to finally have it announced and start meeting the fans so to speak.

“I came and met the manager and coaching staff and was really impressed with them. We shared the same goals of where we want to go with the club. I know it’s been a tricky couple of years, but it wasn’t long ago this club was challenging for Championship football and there’s no reason why it can’t get back to those days.

“Obviously we’re not there right now, but I’m really excited to a part of the journey and hopefully being part of getting the club back to where they were.”

After coming through the ranks at Arsenal, Murphy linked up with Dutch Second Division side Telstar, after loans with Brentford and Preston North End.

The Republic of Ireland under 21 international also represented Dagenham & Redbridge, Oldham Athletic, Crawley Town (loan), AFC Wimbledon (loan), Forest Green Rovers, Gillingham and Chelmsford City.

Blues boss, Phil Brown added: “It’s not rocket science and we can all do the maths. We had scored 24 goals by the time I had arrived last season and I think we got another five so we got 29 goals. There’s no way on this earth that’s going to do anything in any division. You’re very lucky if you survive that kind of lack of quality.

“Rhys will bring that quality. He brings an awareness around the penalty box that I’m hoping we’ve got the creativity and quality around the penalty box to cause teams a problem.”

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Brian Jeeves

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