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Debut goal lifts Daryl

IPSWICH TOWN new boy Daryl Murphy was relieved to end a two-year goal famine on his debut for Roy Keane's side, and he says that his goal is a reminder to managers that he is a striker after all.

Murphy, 26, earned his move to England in 2005 on the back of his scoring form with Waterford United, where he scored 30 goals in three seasons, and in his second season at Sunderland he scored 10 times as Keane's side won promotion to the Premier League.

But the Waterford native had drawn a blank in recent times, his last goal coming in a 2-0 Premier League win for Sunderland over Wigan in February 2008 -- until he scored a minute into his debut for Ipswich in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough.

"It's a relief to be playing up front. I was actually forgetting what it's like to score a goal," said Murphy.

"But I think that definitely coming here and obviously playing as a striker is a big thing for me. I can't even remember when my last goal was. I think it was against Middlesbrough, actually, to keep us up in the Premier League. That was about two years ago.

"I think I'm wasted as a left midfielder really. I just wanted the chance to play as a striker. The Sunderland scout watching might see me as a striker now. He might not see me as a left midfielder anymore!" continued Murphy, tongue-in-cheek.

"Since I've been playing football, just because I'm left-footed and because I can cross a ball, they think, 'Yes, we'll stick him out in left midfield and see how he gets on.'

"It's a handy option for managers because obviously there's going to be a lot of strikers at whatever club you're at," added Murphy, who scored from a cross by his former Sunderland team-mate, David Healy.

"It was good to get off the mark so early. I knew David was definitely going to cross it, and obviously it does help that I've played with him before," added Murphy.

"You know when he gets in that position there's only one thing he is going to do, which is to put it in the box and obviously you have to be there.

"I couldn't have wished for a better start. Obviously as a striker you want to get off the mark as soon as you can, so it was brilliant."

Irish keeper Brian Murphy was also pleased with his weekend's work as the former Bohemians man took a place on the bench for the Middlesbrough game.

Murphy joined Ipswich from Bohs last year but had a disastrous start to his time at Portman Road as he suffered an ankle ligament injury during the warm-up before his first game and has been out even since.

But Keane had Murphy on the bench against Boro and he will now press current No1 Aaran Lee-Barrett for the keeper's shirt.