Danny Murphy emerged from the whirl of emotions which accompanied Fulham’s FA Cup win against non-league Kettering to urge the club’s fans and players to forget the one that got away.
Fulham’s preparations for what turned out to be a dramatic 4-2 victory against the Blue Square Premier side had been disrupted by the sale of their cult midfielder Jimmy Bullard to Hull.
The Fulham midfield certainly missed Bullard’s bite and desire in a cup tie which highlighted that while football’s top and bottom might be worlds apart in terms of finance, the margins on the field can be cigarette-paper thin.
Murphy said: “It’s been a difficult time for everyone because Jimmy’s been a major part of the club and the team. But the simple fact is that sometimes opportunities come along where the security for him and his family was there and he decided to take it.
“I can’t criticise him for that. No one can doubt that in his time with Fulham he gave his heart and soul every game he played.
“The club has to move on. There’s no point dwelling on it. I hope when he comes back and plays at the Cottage the fans will give him some appreciation for what he contributed, especially in the survival scrap.”
The fact remains though that Fulham have lost arguably their most influential player to a club in Hull which is struggling after its mercurial start to life in the Premier League.
Murphy added: “Will the fans doubt the ambition of the club? Personally I would think no because it’s not just about finance. It’s about the age of a player and what his resale value is down the line.
“The fans know the chairman (Mohamed Al Fayed) has done wonders for the club over the last 10 years and they can’t start doubting the hierarchy and decisions on finances because they know better than us. The fans have to back the team and not worry.”