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Frankie McAvoy points out 'slack habits' from Preston's Josh Murphy

Preston swooped to sign Josh Murphy on loan from Cardiff City on deadline day in August, but he’s had a slow start with North End.

With the transfer deadline approaching in August, Preston snapped up Murphy on loan for the season.

Murphy was out of favour at Cardiff and looking to get games elsewhere.

Murphy’s contract with the Bluebirds ends next summer, so Preston maybe sensed a bargain for next summer.

The winger had worked with Frankie McAvoy at Norwich City, so the reunion appeared key to the move.

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So far though, McAvoy has used Murphy sparingly. In six substitute appearances, Murphy has managed just 66 minutes of action in a Preston shirt.

Murphy made an impact as a substitute against Derby County on Saturday, but was still given just 13 minutes.

Fans are baffled, wondering just why on earth Murphy is being left out of the side. He’s still yet to start a game for North End and and no substitute appearance has lasted more than 20 minutes.

Boss McAvoy has now indicated to Lancs Live that Murphy can be a threat when running at defenders, but his work off the ball is the problem.

McAvoy criticised ‘slack habits’ in Murphy’s game, believing he doesn’t defend well enough – and urged him to learn in order to play regularly.

“I think the biggest thing with Josh is that if we can get him isolated one-v-one then he can be a threat,” said Murphy. “The biggest part for me is when we don’t have the ball; front players need to defend. Right at the death, the full-back came right inside the pitch and he needed to be shown on the outside.”

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“So the things like that, he needs to really learn and we had felt we’d done that when we had him back at Norwich. You can see the slack habits are still there and that is when you can get punished.”

“If you are banging goals in left, right and centre being a real threat going forward every time you play then you can sort of get away with that. At the moment, he has not done enough of that for us so that’s what he needs to do more of – I’ve spoken to him and had a good chat with him about it so he understands.”

“He’s come in on loan and it might take him a wee bit of time; it can be difficult when you are only getting dribs and drabs. There are six games in less than three weeks and hopefully he will get a chance to show what he can do,” he added.

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