Brighton's Jiri Skalak explains how Rangers inadvertently set in motion a year-long struggle

Jiri Skalak of Brighton and Hove Albion and Jack Hunt of Sheffield Wednesday battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off semi final second leg match between Brighton &...

Millwall’s Jiri Skalak is finally returning to full fitness.

Jiri Skalak of Brighton battles for the ball with Russell Martin of Norwich during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Norwich City at Amex Stadium on October...

Millwall’s on loan winger Jiri Skalak has explained how he would have moved out on loan last season had it not been for Rangers signing fellow Brighton and Hove Albion teammate Jamie Murphy, London News Online report.

“I spoke to the gaffer [Chris Hughton] at the start of January and asked if I could go on loan but they had just let Jamie Murphy go to Rangers," Skalak said.

"He said: ‘I need you. You are training better and better – you will get a chance soon’. It was my dream to play in the Premier League.

“But after 60 minutes [against Boro] I got injured. I was another six weeks out and the season was finished. I feel better and better with my fitness. Of course, I don’t have the starts I would like to have.”

 

Skalak was due to move out on loan last January, but Rangers signing his then-teammate Murphy initially on loan and then permanently in the summer set in motion a year-long struggle.

The 26-year-old had to stay at Brighton as manager Chris Hughton needed reliable back-up, yet Skalak’s season was then all-but over after picking up a lengthy injury in the FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough.

Skalak didn’t feature at all in the Premier League last term, and he has since returned to the Championship with Millwall where thus far further injuries have restricted him to just four league starts.

Jiri Skalak of Brighton and Hove Albion is challenged byJack Hunt of Sheffield Wednesday during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off semi final second leg match between Brighton & Hove Albion...

While Rangers aren’t at fault for his injury troubles, the Gers’ bringing in Murphy did prevent the Czech Republic international from moving out on loan and showcasing his talent ahead of the summer transfer window.

To make matters worse, Murphy has struggled to make an impact at Ibrox since signing on a permanent deal, with the 29-year-old Scot last featuring against Kilmarnock back in August.

Jamie Murphy of Rangers is congratulated by his team mates after scoring the opening goal of the game during the Pre-Season Friendly between Rangers and Bury at Ibrox Stadium on July 6,...

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