JAMIE MURPHY is getting back into his stride. It has been a difficult few years for the forward after snapping his anterior cruciate ligament, an injury that effectively precipitated the beginning of the end of his time as a Rangers player.

He has been shipped out on loan to Hibernian with a view to making a permanent move next summer and, after a slow start at Easter Road, is starting to embody the old maxim that form can come and go but class is permanent.

At 31 years old it is hard to believe the baby-faced Murphy is approaching the autumn of a career that began with him terrorising defenders with his fleet-footedness as a Motherwell player some 14 years ago.

But there were signs again in Hibs’ sticky but ultimately solid Betfred Cup win over Dundee on Saturday that Murphy still has plenty to offer.

A week on from scoring against Celtic, the left winger again made the difference, fastening on to Kevin Nisbet’s pass to wheel away from the Dundee defence before depositing his shot in the far corner of the net for the only goal of the tie.

Part of a four-pronged Hibs attack, Murphy puts his recent strong showings down to simply playing more often.

“What’s been the difference for me lately? Just playing games,” he said. ‘I’ve been wanting a regular run of games for a while now because I know I can score goals and be involved in goals – if I get that run.

"I’m just really thankful that the manager has brought me here and given this opportunity. He plays in an attacking style and we’ve got some really good players here, Martin Boyle on the right, the two boys up front – and good creativity in midfield.

“So you always feel like there’s an opportunity coming. I’m encouraged to get forward which is probably where I’m best. But you always try to do your bit for the team. And I thought the back four were brilliant against a Dundee side who made it difficult for us.”

The success of this Hibs team will be measured by their effectiveness over 38 league games but the cup competitions offer a chance to garnish their campaign with something a bit special.

Murphy is yet to win anything in his career but hopes this Betfred Cup run could yet provide him with belated glory.

“Who knows how far we can go in the cups? You always have it as something to aim for, just getting through the next round and seeing who you get.

“I’ve been to a Scottish Cup final, a couple of League Cup semi-finals. It would be a great thing to add for me. You want to win cups and medals.

“Every year, when the season starts, if you’re not trying to win the cups, then what’s the point of being in the competitions?

“It’s obviously in our sights. And the good thing about the League Cup is that, after the group stages, you only need to win two games and you’re back at Hampden. That’s obviously a big thing. So the aim is to win in the next round, get back to Hampden.

“I obviously got to the Scottish Cup Final with Motherwell, quite early in my career – and it’s definitely something I want to experience again. I would love to play in a major final every year. If you lose them, all right, you lose – but it doesn’t affect your desire to get back there and have another go.”

Two days on from the 25th anniversary of Dundee’s last appearance in a League Cup final, they fell short in their attempts to extend their involvement in this year’s tournament.

They at least made it more competitive than the 4-1 defeat suffered on their previous visit to Easter Road a fortnight earlier but ultimately lacked the firepower to cause Hibs too many palpitations.

They did have the ball in the net through Alex Jakubiak who was flagged offside but the former St Mirren forward felt there were positives to be taken from the overall display.

“From our performance I felt we deserved more from the game,” he said. “I think we probably outworked them off the ball but defensively one slip in the middle of the park cost us the goal. 

“In the final third we maybe didn’t create enough to get a goal. We’re disappointed and frustrated but there were lots of positives to take from the game.

“We have set the standard now and we need to maintain that and that will bring us results going forward.”