By Chris Harris
According to Rhys Murphy, some half-time words of wisdom helped Arsenal finish their Reserve League campaign on a high note.
The second string struggled to impose themselves during the first 45 minutes against West Bromwich Albion on Monday night and were thankful to Vito Mannone for a tremendous penalty save which kept them on level terms. But Arsenal emerged from the interval with renewed vigour and deservedly went on to win the game with goals from Mark Randall and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.
Afterwards, Murphy reflected on a timely team-talk from manager Neil Banfield which helped swing the game in Arsenal's favour.
"Basically he told us to be patient and move the ball quicker," Murphy told Arsenal.com.
"He did say it might be hard because the pitch was tough but he wanted us to try and work them more. He told us not to rush to try and get in behind and the chances will come. And they did.
"I thought we did well. It was a hard pitch to play on but I think we coped well with it. We tried to play as much football as we could and got the win which was nice."
Murphy has been sidelined for much of the campaign with a fractured ankle and then a hamstring injury, but he returned with a goal in the Academy Play-Off Semi-Final win at Manchester City on Friday. The England youngster’s timing couldn't be better - he is fit for this month's League decider and the FA Youth Cup Final.
"It’s great to be back," said Murphy. "I was a bit disappointed in myself [against West Brom] but the team won which is the most important thing. I just need to gradually build it up and keep it going.
"It’s always frustrating to be missing out on games but obviously everyone wants to be playing. But when I’ve been out the team have done great without me. Now the Reserve League is finished we’ve got two Finals so there’s plenty to look forward to."Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 12 May 2009