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The ‘massive’ impact unsung Cardiff City man is having behind the scenes and the mindset change which released the shackles

Josh Murphy has explained how assistant manager Terry Connor has got him and the other forwards motoring with his seemingly never-ending work behind the scenes and a shift in mindset.

Frequenters of Mick McCarthy’s press conferences have noted just how often the manager is quick to praise his No.2 for the work he has done since arriving in the Welsh capital.

McCarthy is insistent on ensuring Connor takes his fair share of the credit and cites just how important the work that he undertakes day-to-day at the club’s Vale of Glamorgan HQ is.

And Connor, a striker by trade during his playing days, certainly appears to have coaxed the best out of the Bluebirds’ talented attacking stable. And none more so than Josh Murphy.

Murphy has thrived in his new role as a second striker, playing off the shoulder of goal machine Kieffer Moore, and has two goals and three assists in the nine matches he has played under the new regime.

On the whole, Cardiff have scored 23 goals in the 11 games under the new manager and Murphy has credited Connor with a key role in that change, saying he has shifted the mindset of the forwards to fire off more shots and be unafraid of feeling as though you have to score.

It seems to be working.

When asked about whether Connor had made a big impact, Murphy, speaking to the club’s website, said: “Massively. First and foremost, his attention to detail is second to none.

“He takes a lot of time out, not just for the forwards, but for all the different positions.

“He is always working so hard, especially with the strikers, to get their goals, but just improving on hitting the target.

“We probably struggled in recent times where if you had a shot it had to be a goal, whereas you don’t necessarily have to score [now], just hit the target and make ‘keepers make the saves and that’s where other players can get the rebounds.

“A lot of work has been going on on the training pitch to help players improve and everyone is doing that.”

Bluebirds supporters were waiting for the penny to drop with Murphy and it looks as though he has really hit his stride in this new role.

Indeed, manager Mick McCarthy said on Thursday that the forward had become a potent weapon up top for him.

“Josh has done well since he has gone into that role”, McCarthy said. “He is a real threat, that’s for sure.

“He is still learning it, but he has bought into everything we have asked and he is working exceptionally hard.

“I still think there is more to come from Josh.”

If there is anyone who can eke more out of him, Connor appears to be the man who can get him ticking.

But Murphy is certainly enjoying his more central attacking role and the sheer number of chances being afforded to City’s forwards of late.

“Everyone is relishing different roles in the team,” Murphy added. “We have found a way that suits a lot of the players.

“Us forwards, at the moment, we are getting a lot more chances and we didn’t get that recently.

“The change in formation and the way we are playing at the moment, everyone is happy with it.”

While both Murphy and the Bluebirds have been firing on all cylinders, it is arguably their toughest test yet this weekend under McCarthy.

Watford come to the Welsh capital sitting in second place in the Championship table and City have a job on their hands if they are to keep the momentum going.

But while Murphy appreciates it will be a sizeable challenge, he is relishing the prospect of a return to Cardiff City Stadium.

“Everyone knows it’s going to be a tough test,” he said. “They’re right at the top and going for automatic promotion.

“We have a job in hand, we want to be picking up points and we want to be right in there in the play-off places. We know it’s going to be a difficult game but hopefully if we can stick to our game plan we can get the three points.

“I just love the stadium and it’s always great to play at home. We probably play better football when we’re playing at CCS, so the two home games now are welcome.

“It’s never the same without the fans and especially with how well we’re doing at the moment. If we had them supporting us in the stadium, I’m sure it would be absolutely rocking!

“It’s disappointing but hopefully we can keep picking up results and making them proud at home.”

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