Friday 22 November 2019

Murphy hails Mick role in resurgence

Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy has had the backing of the club's manager Mick McCarthy
Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy has had the backing of the club's manager Mick McCarthy

Liam Kelly

IPSWICH striker Daryl Murphy won't hear a bad word against his club manager Mick McCarthy, WRITES LIAM KELLY.

The Waterford-born striker has been a virtual ever-present for the Tractor Boys this season – and in his favourite role.

"When Mick came in, he said, 'I want you to play as a striker, you're not going to be playing in left midfield for me' and he said that when I did play well, I'd stay in the team," said Murphy.

"That's been the case, and I've played nearly every game this season. I think I've performed better as a striker than I did as a left midfielder."

The run of matches – he has started 29 times in 33 appearances – has brought nine goals so far, and led to his surprise recall to the Ireland squad – six years after he won the last of his nine caps.

"I think I played well any time I played. But in all my caps, I only started one game. That was away to Ecuador and we drew 1-1 and I did well, but then it was a case it was five or 10 minutes here or there, which is not enough time to really do anything," said Murphy.

"I think given more time, I could have done better. But given the time I had, I couldn't have done much more."

Giovanni Trapattoni dropped him without any notification, which hurt, but Martin O'Neill has opened a window of opportunity. "I was surprised and delighted when I heard. It's great to be back in," said Murphy.

He was sent over to Dublin with good wishes from McCarthy and one instruction – make sure he comes back fit and well for the fray as Ipswich resume their battle to reach the Championship play-offs.

O'Neill tends to like a good big 'un up front backed up by a good little 'un.

If he goes with that formula, Murphy could challenge Jon Walters for a slot, playing alongside Robbie Keane or the not-so-little Shane Long or Kevin Doyle.

That story will unfold over the next few months. For now, the first target of ex-Sunderland and Celtic striker Murphy is to get a decent amount of playing time to prove himself to O'Neill and his former Sunderland boss Roy Keane.

Irish Independent

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