Murphy on Cloud Nine
Saturday, 6th Dec 2014 06:00
Town striker Daryl Murphy can’t thank Town boss Mick McCarthy enough for handing him the number nine shirt last year.
The decision has coincided not only with the Republic of Ireland international playing the best football of his entire career but also becoming one of the most prolific goalscorers in the country.
He is the latest in a long line of star players to wear the number nine for Ipswich, including a hat-trick of England strikers in Ray Crawford, David Johnson and Paul Mariner.
Murphy, 31, said: “It’s a special number in football. You don’t see many players who wear the number nine shirt sitting on the bench, do you? It was a huge vote of confidence in me from the gaffer to give me that shirt.
“I haven’t looked back since because it gives you a huge lift to know the gaffer has that much faith in you. Hopefully I’m rewarding his choice.
“I just needed faith from the manager to be honest with you. It helps a lot. The gaffer said he wanted me as a striker and he would play me there, then he gave me the number nine shirt, which was another boost. It’s down to the gaffer showing faith in me that I’m producing this form.
“I think the fact that you hadn’t seen the best of me at Ipswich was partially due to me playing on the left of midfield. I always knew if I did play as a striker, and we got the chances in the team, I could score goals and thankfully it has happened.”
Murphy, who netted 13 league goals last season, currently has 11 to make him the joint-second highest scorer in the Championship, alongside Rudy Gestede of Blackburn, who is also just one behind top marksman Britt Assombalonga of Nottingham Forest.
He added: “I couldn’t have dreamt of such a return at this stage of the season, especially after I scored in the first game of the season against Fulham and then went another four without a goal. To have that tally now from the games I’ve played is brilliant but it’s just about keeping it going.
“I need to keep starting in the team and apart from helping to create chances for others I’ve got to take them myself when they come along. At the moment, though, I could not have asked for anything more.
“It was important to get off the mark in the first game because in the previous season it took me until our seventh league game to get my first goal. When you get your first one you kind of ease into it then.
“With the players we’ve got now you know you are going to get chances in the games, more than we have had previously, and it’s just a case of taking them. I’m quite happy with that aspect of my game.”
Photo: Action Images
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