McCarthy: Murph Still as Good as Anyone of His Type in Championship
Friday, 1st Dec 2017 16:01
Town boss Mick McCarthy says former Blues frontman Daryl Murphy, who returns to Portman Road with Nottingham Forest tomorrow, is still as good as anybody of his type in the Championship.
The 34-year-old joined the Tricky Trees from Newcastle for a reported £2 million in the summer, signing a three-year deal, having left Town for the Magpies in August 2016 for £3 million. The Irish international has scored seven goals so far this season.
“He’s still playing well up at the top on his own, is scoring goals and is being a real threat,” McCarthy said.
“[He’s still as good as anybody of his type at this level]. He was sold to Newcastle and Newcastle barely used him but I saw a couple of games when they put him on and he changed games by coming on because of his physical presence and the way he played.
“And he’s quality. I think that [Forest manager] Mark [Warburton] has got him there and he’s a senior citizen compared to some of their lads but that’s great for them because they’ve got that target man, he can hold it up, he can threaten in behind and they’ve got some capable footballers, certainly in behind, their midfield players are pretty good.”
He added: “He’s a good focal point from which to play off and he still gets his goals. I’ve been watching them, I’ve just had a look and some of his movement in the box is good.
“I have to say there’ll be fair bit of that that’s down to TC as well, his finishing because he worked wonders with him here.”
Will having spent so much time with Town make it easier for the Blues to keep him quiet tomorrow? “Not really, no. If you’ve got a really good player like Murph, who is big and quick and powerful and has got his quality. If he’s on his game, he’s difficult to deal with, whoever he’s playing against.
“But then it’s up to our centre-backs. He’s not playing for us any more, he’s outside the tent peeing in, so you treat him accordingly.”
McCarthy says Forest handing Murphy a three-year deal at this late stage of his career shouldn’t be entirely surprising.
“There are certain occasions for players, there are certain moments in time when somebody desperately wants you and are prepared to give that contract to get him,” he reflected.
“I don’t know how much they spent on him, but he’s a fit guy, he’ll play this season and next season without any problem at all.
“He’s had a few calf injuries but that’s generally when he played loads of games and he’s gone away with Ireland and he came back and he ended up picking something up.
“He’ll be fine and it’s not for me to decide whether he deserves a one, two or three-year contract. Good luck to him. He earned that through scoring 27 goals here [in 2014/15].”
Murphy - who netted for Newcastle in last season’s 3-1 defeat at Portman Road, his only game against the Blues since moving on - scored 67 goals in 207 starts and 18 substitute appearances for Town in three loan spells and a three-year permanent stint.
Photo: Action Images
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