Watford's Sean Murray wins Football League young player award

By Chris OsborneBBC Sport

Watford midfielder Sean Murray believes he can be the latest Hornets star to step up to the Premier League after winning the Football League's Young Player of the Month award for March.

Murray, 18, saw fellow youth product Marvin Sordell join Bolton in January and hopes to emulate his old team-mate.

"I definitely feel I can do that," said Murray, who scored four goals in seven games during March.

"But I need to cement my place in this team before I can make a big impact."

Since making a surprise start against Tottenham in the FA Cup in January, Murray has featured in all but two of Watford's last 17 games.

His goals - five since February - allied to composed performances in the middle of the park have raised the profile of the former Manchester City target.external-link

But Hornets boss Sean Dyche is keen to stress to the Republic of Ireland youth international that he is at an early stage of his development.

"It's quite simple, the challenge is to force his way into our side, deliver performances and see what comes after that," said Dyche.

"He's very young, he's only 18 and he's developing nicely. We're not overloading him with information at the moment and over time we'll add in some of the tactical and technical details.

"He's got a long way to go but it's a very nice start to what will hopefully be a very good career."

After making his full Hornets debut on the final day of last season - a 3-1 defeat at Preston - Murray found opportunities hard to come by in the first half of the new campaign.

But his inclusion against Spurs, and his energetic display in the narrow 1-0 loss, triggered a run in the side that looks unlikely to come to an end.

"This year I had to work hard to get into the team and it wasn't working at first, but I got my chance against Spurs and kept my place," added Murray.

"The other players have helped me out a lot. The experience of the other players keeps me level headed."

Murray was spotted by Watford as a nine-year-old playing for local team Evergreen and has since been nurtured by the club's academy.

He signed a new three-year deal in March and hopes to follow fellow Watford academy alumni Sordell, David James and Ashley Young into the upper echelons of English football.

"I'd definitely want to go up with Watford," said Murray, whose team are 14th in the Championship, nine points adrift of the top six.

"We've pushed on at the back end of this season. At the start of the campaign nobody expected us to be as high as we are. That just shows how good the team ethic is."

And Hornets boss Dyche added that he is confident the midfielder will continue to develop at Watford, although he recognises that everyone has their price.

"We want to develop talent for sure," said Dyche, whose club have had 50 players graduate from their academy to play first-team football.

"There is a financial situation at the club that always needs addressing.

"But we feel we can keep players until the time is right and Sean's on a nice pathway. He's a young man learning as he goes, enjoying his football."

For the promotion and relegation news as it happens in the Championship this Saturday, follow our new exclusive text commentary service Football League Live. It has fixtures, results, as-it-happens tables and regular reports from across the Football League. Saturday, 1400 BST, bbc.co.uk/sport