| 6.3°C Dublin

Mick sets 20-goal target for Murphy

MICK McCarthy has told Ipswich Town's in-form Ireland striker Daryl Murphy to aim high and set himself a new target of goals for the season.

The Waterford native scored twice for McCarthy's side in Saturday's 4-1 win over Leeds United to take his tally of league goals for the season to 13, making him the leading scorer in the Championship.

Murphy recently said that this season he is playing the best football of his career and McCarthy would like to see the striker reach the 20-goal mark.

"You always set out to match last season's tally so I wonder what his target is now?" said McCarthy of Murphy, a player McCarthy took to England when he signed him for Sunderland from Waterford United.

"He'll probably say 'as many as I can get', but he's matched his target in less than half a season so let's see if he can be up there in the 20s and be the leading scorer in the league."

McCarthy also feels that Murphy is thriving from the trust shown in him by the manager, with the squad number helping out this season.

"I wanted to sign him and make him our primary striker. The number nine on the back makes a big difference to someone's confidence," McCarthy added.

"They say it doesn't matter what number you have on your back, but you don't see too many number nines of the bench."

Ipswich now take on Bolton and Middlesbrough before a key game on St Stephen's Day against promotion rivals Brentford.

Monaghan lad Jonathan Douglas scored for the Bees against Huddersfield on Saturday but their five-game winning run ended with a 2-1 loss, former Ireland U21 cap Sean Scannell the hero for Huddersfield.