The BBC Pundit has been discussing Newcastle United.
Newcastle further extended their woeful record under current boss John Carver with a limp 1-0 defeat at Sunderland on Sunday afternoon - their fifth loss in a row against their Tyne-Wear rivals.
And Murphy believes the fact the Magpies have very little to play for is weighing on the players' minds.
Relegation is still a distant possibility but a mid-table finish is more realistic and the BBC pundit feels that is something that will affect performances whether players like it or not.
Murphy told Match of the Day 2: “Subconsciously, you do switch off a little bit. You’re not thinking about the club gaining extra money finishing eighth instead of 13th and you know you’re not in any trouble.
“You try your best but it is difficult when you’re in the middle of the table to kick on.”
The former Liverpool midfielder also believes Newcastle's struggles are showing former manager Alan Pardew in a different light.
Indeed, while the Tyneside outfit have regressed, Pardew has taken Crystal Palace above them in the Premier League table and Murphy suggests the Palace boss's true value is coming to light since he left St James' Park.
He added: “Maybe now Alan Pardew is looking a lot better than he was when he was there. Because he got those players playing much better than they are now.”
Next up for Newcastle is a trip to Murphy's old club Liverpool.