Ronan Murray says stakes are high at Plymouth Argyle
STRIKER Ronan Murray knows there is a lot at stake during his loan spell at Plymouth Argyle, both for him and the club.
The 21-year-old from County Mayo will spend the rest of the season with the Pilgrims as they fight to escape relegation from the Football League.
Murray is also out of contract at Championship club Ipswich Town in the summer so his future beyond then is unclear.
It is a crossroads in his career and his performances for Argyle could not only save them from relegation but earn him new terms, either at Ipswich or elsewhere.
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Murray was the first signing by new PIlgrims boss John Sheridan and made a promising debut in the 2-1 victory over Morecambe at Home Park on Saturday.
He set up Paris Cowan-Hall for Argyle's second goal as they won for the first time in seven matches, since a 2-0 home defeat of York City on December 8.
Murray told Herald Sport: "It's a big few months for me now. The main thing is to get Plymouth out of the relegation zone and back to the good times.
"Hopefully, things will turn around for us because it's a massive club and it shouldn't be where it is at the minute.
"We have to get as many points as we can as quick as we can and get confidence back in the team. It's going to be a fight week in week out and I'm up for it."
Murray had made only one substitute appearance for Ipswich this season, and that was at the end of August, before making the move to Argyle.
He said: "I have been up at Ipswich with Paul Jewell and now the new manager has come in, Mick McCarthy, and I need game time.
"Playing in the reserves in front of one man and his dog is nothing like playing first team football in front of 6,000 or 7,000 fans.
"It's a big difference, and it's the pressure you need week in week out. There is no better feeling than going home on a Saturday evening and you have won a game, or dug out a draw.
"That's the feeling I want back," added Murray, who played 27 times on loan to Swindon Town last season.
Murray came across two familiar faces when he arrived at Home Park for the first time last Friday.
Cork-born Argyle captain and midfielder Conor Hourihane has previously been a team-mate of his, both in the reserves at Ipswich and also at youth level for the Republic of Ireland.
Murray also played alongside centre-back Guy Branston during a loan spell with Torquay United at the end of the 2010/11 season.
Branston signed as a free agent for Argyle on the same day as Murray took part in his first training session.
Murray said: "It was a surprise to see him (Branston). I know Conor as well so it has helped me to settle in.
"Conor and I were at Ipswich together and we have played in the Ireland youth set-up for the last few years, from under-16 up to under-21 level. I know him pretty well.
"He spent a season at Ipswich and, unfortunately, it didn't work out for him there. He has come to Plymouth and has been flying ever since. It has been great for him really."
Branston also played for Argyle against Morecambe and Murray believes the experienced defender will be an important addition to the squad at Home Park.
"I played with him at Torquay and he got in the (League Two) team of the year that season," said Murray.
"He was a mountain at the back and we got into the play-off final. I think he will steady the ship here.
"Hopefully, there won't be many goals going in and, hopefully, there will be a few more going in up front."
Murray made four starts and three substitute appearances for Torquay, and scored one goal.
He said: "Torquay was a good experience. That was my first loan away from Ipswich and it meant moving out on my own and meeting new people. I enjoyed it.
"This one is just a little bit further, and it's a bigger club than Torquay in the sense that it has been in the Championship.
"It's a great stadium here and, hopefully, the good times are to come."