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'I'm sticking by him' - Ritchie backs under pressure Leeds star

Andy Ritchie has urged Darko Milanic to stick with Leeds United midfielder Luke Murphy.

Former Leeds United player Andy Ritchie says he is sticking by under pressure midfielder Luke Murphy.

Murphy has struggled for consistency this season, failing to impress after he was brought on for the second-half of the home draw against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.

However, Ritchie says he’s worth Darko Milanic persevering with over the rest of the season.

“Luke Murphy came on at half-time last weekend and while it has not gone as well for him as he would liked at Leeds, I am sticking by him,” wrote Ritchie for the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“I still maintain he is a very good player. I saw quite a bit of him when he was at Crewe and he was really top-dollar. I am backing him to come through as he will open doors for you and run all day.”

“He is still finding his feet a bit and maybe fans are not onside at the moment as they have not seen the best of him. But once he produces that form he can, they will realise they have a really good player on their hands.”

The tricky decision that Milanic has to make is whether he continues to use Murphy and show him the faith that will improve his confidence or whether he gives into his own pressure and replaces him.

The boss is still searching for his first win and while he will get time, owner Massimo Cellino is likely to be watching the performances extremely closely after appointing him as head coach.

Murphy has now played a good volume of games for Leeds so he should be used to the increased standard compared with his days at Crewe and he’ll only get better in that regard with the more games he plays.

The support of the fans could also go a long way to improving his confidence.

It’s been a frustrating spell for Leeds after an entertaining four games when Neil Redfearn was in charge. A couple of wins can change everything and if Murphy is central to them, his performances should also improve.

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