Murphy takes Fulham responsibility

Roy Hodgson’s side take on Basel on Wednesday in a win-or-bust game

to progress out of Group E. Some believe the Cottagers could

already be through now if it had not been for referee Paul

Allaerts’ harsh decision to send off Stephen Kelly in Fulham’s

meeting with Roma. But Murphy refuses to play the blame game,

believing if Fulham fail to qualify, it will have been because they

were not good enough. He insists decisions go both for and against

teams – pointing out he would never have won his FA Cup medal with

Liverpool in 2001 against Arsenal if it had not been for a blunder

by an official – and as a footballer, he has to take the rough with

the smooth. Murphy told the News of the World: “That’s football.

There are thousands upon thousands of Irish people still reeling

from the World Cup play-offs but these things happen. “I won an FA

Cup medal when Stephane Henchoz handballed on the line and Michael

Owen scored two in the last 10 minutes. “If Henchoz hadn’t have

done that Arsenal would have probably been 2-0 up and the game

would have been out of reach for us. “So what am I going to do,

give that medal back? Football is like that and I wouldn’t change

it. “The referee was bad for us against Roma. We were winning 1-0

and cruising but in Europe it’s easy to get sent off for a nothing

challenge so you have to be clever. “We can’t blame anyone and you

can’t pinpoint one moment. If we qualify we’ve been good enough to

and if we don’t we haven’t. “We drew in Sofia and should have won

that game and we didn’t hold on to our lead at home against Roma.”

But Murphy is confident ahead of the clash in Switzerland after the

Cottagers beat Basel 1-0 at Craven Cottage. He added: “I thought

they were decent. I wouldn’t say I was overly impressed, though.

“We had half a team out when we played them and they certainly

don’t put the fear of God in us. “The problem is that they don’t

have the class or the quality that Roma have got in the likes of

(Francesco) Totti or Daniele De Rossi in midfield. “Basel have good

players but I wouldn’t say they’re world beaters, far from it. We

don’t fear them but we’ll respect them because they did cause us a

few little problems last time.”