Murphy hails McCarthy support
Published 25/05/2016 | 02:30
If he had a different club manager, Daryl Murphy might have waved goodbye to his Euros dream in the final weeks of the Championship season.
Mick McCarthy almost missed out on Ireland's first ever European Championships game with England because of calf trouble, so when his main striker at Ipswich was struck down by a similar problem he looked at the bigger picture.
With Ipswich out of the promotion race, he told the Waterford man to step out of the firing line and ensure he was in peak condition.
"I don't think there are many managers who would have said that to me," says the 33-year-old. "He said, 'look, we can't get into the play-offs, you need to get your match fitness right (for the Euros), so what is the point really?'."
His advice paid off and Murphy has come through his first two training sessions of the week without suffering a reaction. In truth, his debt of gratitude to McCarthy goes back further than that.
The former Ireland manager gave the attacker his break in England at Sunderland and then got his career back on track when they were reunited at Ipswich and the Yorkshireman declared that he would be his No 1 striker.
That paved the way for the best season of his career and a prominent part in Martin O'Neill's plans.
Ironically enough, Roy Keane is the only other club boss to have shared that belief.
"I've had knocks in my career, people who doubted me," he said. "I always thought I could play at a decent level and Mick gave me the chance."