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Luke Murphy admits watching Soccer Saturday every week was the hardest period of his career

The 25-year-old Leeds midfielder has bounced back - but admits this season brought the most difficult time of his career.

Leeds United midfielder Luke Murphy admits being left out of the side for three months was the hardest period of his career as a footballer, according to the club's official website.

Murphy has since established himself as a key part of the Yorkshire side's midfield but was well out of the first-team picture at Elland Road earlier this season.

As a result, the midfield man spent his Saturday mornings training with the Under-21s and going home to watch Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports - far from the ideal outcome for someone used to playing in front of big crowds every week at 3pm.

And the 25-year-old admits that period was the hardest of his career as a whole. That has made the delight of returning to the first-team fold at Leeds even greater.

Murphy told LUTV: "It didn’t start off too well for me. I didn’t play for three months of the season, which was disappointing but I’m just happy to have played a part in the last half of the season and tried to help the team progress up the table.

"I was training with the Under-21s every Saturday morning and then I was going home at three o’clock on a Saturday and watching Gillette Soccer Saturday.

"It was a hard period in my career, probably the hardest I’ve had so far. I’ve enjoyed the second half of the season, though, especially when we went on that run where we only lost three games in three months."

Little is certain about who will be managing or indeed playing for Leeds next season but Murphy's role at the club cannot be overstated after his transformation this season.

Hopefully for the 25-year-old, a more stable campaign is due next term, without any more lengthy exclusions from the first team.

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