Reds boss backs Danny boy
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The England international midfielder took full advantage of his first start in a month last weekend to play a match-winning role in The Merseysiders' 1-0 win at arch rivals Manchester United.
It was a high point in what has been a largely frustrating campaign for the 27-year-old who - after a couple of impressive seasons for The Reds - has been in and out of Houllier's starting XI.
Indeed, Murphy had recently called his long-term future at the club into question, but his French manager is adamant the player has a huge part to play as he bids to turn the side into genuine championship contenders.
"Danny is definitely a part of this club's future," declared Houllier. "He is a very technically-gifted player, but what he must not do is settle for the level he has reached.
"When you don't progress you just regress and I don't want that to happen to him. He is better than that.
"He has to push on now and must not allow himself to be in a comfort zone, physically and mentally.
"I gave him a chance at the weekend and he took it well.
"He is someone I trust in the big games.
"Danny knows that I like him, but at the same time I have set him high standards to attain."