Sitting alone in a hotel room in a strange city far from his home and family, Yoker born footballer Jamie Murphy faced up to a crossroads in his career, and in his life.

The former Motherwell attacker’s move to Sheffield United hadn’t gone to plan, with injuries preventing him from showing the impressive form that had led to his move to England.

Scottish clubs, including the one he had recently left and where he had felt so much at home, were desperate to bring him back up the road. The prospect was a tempting one.

It was then that he decided that no, he would not quit. He would stick it out, re-dedicate himself to meeting the physical demands of playing in England, and prove that he could cut it away from hearth and home.

Now, at 27 and preparing for life in the English Premier League with newly-promoted Brighton and Hove Albion, it is fair to say that the Scotland squad man feels vindicated by his stubborn refusal to throw in the towel, as many before him had done.

“I look at some other players and they go down south, and then within a year or so they come back up the road,” Murphy told our sister paper The Herald.

“I think I did it the right way, I never went too high. I never went straight to the Premier League. I don’t know if I would have been a success had I gone straight from Motherwell to the Premier League.

“I remember my first six months at Sheffield United, I just kept getting injured. Every couple of weeks I had a hamstring or a groin injury. I couldn’t handle the pace or the fitness levels that you needed to play in League One.

“In Scotland, we are a lot more technical in the Premiership than League One. People think that Scottish football is hustle and bustle, but it is not. In League One it is a lot more to do with fitness.

“The first six months was horrible and it was a total eye-opener. I was out injured and I was down there on my own, and I would miss three weeks of training and would be in the hotel all by myself.

“You have to learn quickly and thankfully, I did. I turned it round and I went to the gym and worked hard every day. Going to the gym is the in thing down south and I was in there a lot more than I ever was in Scotland. I was determined to succeed.

“I had a couple of options to come back to Scotland. Motherwell and Hibs were very interested in bringing me back home, but I decided to stick it out. The easy option at the time would have been to come back.

“I was at a crossroads but I am glad I stuck it out. If I had gone back to Scotland it would have felt like I had given up. I didn’t want to quit and I am delighted with that decision now as I am an English Premier League player.”

Winning promotion from the Championship and becoming a regular in a Premier League team doesn’t always automatically follow. With the eye-popping riches now at Brighton’s disposal, Murphy is steeling himself for the next task at hand; seeing off the new arrivals at The Amex Stadium.

“It will be a huge challenge,” he said. “When teams go up to the EPL they always make a couple of new signings.

“If I’m not in the squad, the way I look at it is that it’s down to me, I’m not blaming anyone else. It’s up to me to do better, work harder. I look at myself first.

“There’s always room to improve and I’m sure I’ll have to improve to keep my place.”