Quique Sanchez Flores, who has shown a great reluctance to develop any young players this season, has chosen the away game at West Bromwich Albion to include Sean Murray in the travelling squad.
It is unclear if Murray has been included because of injuries to key midfielders or because the head coach already has one eye on the FA Cup semi-final and is taking no chances with anyone who either has a knock or is ill. Regardless, Murray, 22, will be delighted to be included in a travelling party for the first time this season and will be hoping to make his first appearance in a first-team shirt since the FA Cup defeat to Chelsea in January last year. It will also send a much-needed message to those in the academy that there is still a pathway to the first team, albeit a narrow one.
The integration of Murray would suggest he stands a good chance of playing against West Ham United on Wednesday night in what would represent his first start since September 2014 in the 2-2 draw at Blackburn Rovers. A combination of a loss of form and the gradual upgrading of the midfield has seen Murray drop further and further down the pecking order in the last year, culminating in him being farmed out on loan to Wigan Athletic where he made seven appearances before he was sent back a month early.
However, Murray showed a fine attitude and no little quality in the Herts Senior Challenge Cup tie at Boreham Wood in January and has played the last 13 Under-21 league games, scoring away at Queens Park Rangers.