Murphy determined to remain Keane's No 1
HAVING finally put his stamp on English football for the first time in a roller-coaster career, Brian Murphy is ready to fight off any challengers for the No 1 shirt at Ipswich Town as Roy Keane begins the search for a new goalkeeper.
Murphy's rise to the top ranks of the Irish senior squad has been meteoric, having moved to Portman Road from Bohemians just last December after an extremely fruitful spell at Dalymount Park.
It wasn't long before he nailed down the No 1 spot at the East Anglian outfit and he continued to impress, playing 16 games from February to the end of the Championship season.
But, while his predecessor between the posts Richard Wright has been released, Keane's recent assertion that the area of goalkeeping is one that needs strengthening at Ipswich will no doubt be ringing in Murphy's ears.
The 27-year-old, however, is ready for the challenge, having battled his way back to the higher echelons of English football after failing to make the grade there as a youngster.
"Richard obviously wasn't kept on and I don't know who he's going to bring in. But hopefully, I'm still his No 1 at the minute and it's mine to lose," he enthused.
"There is a long pre-season and whoever comes in, I'll be up for the challenge.
"There were good keepers there when I went there in the first place and I had to do my best to get past them. I did that and hopefully I can try and impress in pre-season."
Keane, of course, has developed a mixed reputation with former players for his supposedly brash management style, but the Waterford custodian has thoroughly enjoyed playing under the former Manchester United star. "It was obviously a very difficult start to the season. I've been there since the first week in December and I've really enjoyed it.
"He's played me and that's important as well. You've got to impress the manager off the game day as well in terms of training and around the training ground.
"I like to work hard, anyway. So hopefully that's something the manager has taken on board and he's given me a chance to play and hopefully I haven't let him down."
Before moving back across the water, Murphy thrived under Bohemians boss Pat Fenlon and he had particular praise for the former Shelbourne manager, admitting that he has spotted similarities between the five-time League of Ireland winner with his current manager.
"I think they have similarities in the dressing-room; if you're not winning the game and doing the right things.
"I'm not surprised Pat's been linked (with clubs in Britain) -- he's won everything in Irish football.
"I don't know what Pat is thinking, whether he wants to have another go at getting a move over to England, but I'm sure he'll be well capable of moving up to whatever level he decides."
Joe Murphy will start in goal in the training match against Ireland's amateur team at Gannon Park this evening.
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