Daryl Murphy made an immediate impact at Ipswich Town, taking just 22 seconds to score the opener in Saturday’s draw with Gordon Strachan’s Middlesboro at Portman Road – and is ‘Keane’ to be given the chance to show what he can do in his natural position.
The Waterford man’s first goal in two years was set up by fellow deadline-day loan signing David Healy who crossed from the right and Murphy clipped a shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
David Wheater’s equaliser on the hour frustratingly left Roy Keane’s draw-heavy side just one place above the relegation zone.
Played before a crowd of over 21,000, “it was a typical Championship game,” said Keane. “Both teams had chances, it finished 1-1, and we all go home. Boring.”
The manager admitted beforehand that a lack of goals has been Town’s downfall this season. “The two new lads will give us something different to the other strikers here. David is a poacher and will get on the end of things while Daryl gives us options both up front and on the left side, although I will be looking to play him as a striker.”
Murphy and Healy looked dangerous throughout — the former going close with a second-half overhead kick — and Keane was “delighted” with their contribution. “They linked up well and their fitness levels were excellent but we have another game on Tuesday [QPR away] and we will have to be careful with them,” he said.
Former Blues striker Daryl, whose last strike was in Sunderland’s 2-0 Premier League win over Wigan on February 9, 2008, admitted afterwards: “I had forgotten what it was like to score a goal. Playing as a striker is a big thing for me. I’m wasted as a left-midfielder and it was good to come to Ipswich as a striker.
“The gaffer here knows it is my best position. It’s been a problem since I started playing football. Just because I’m left footed and can cross a ball, they think ‘stick him out there and see how it goes.’ It’s handy option for managers, because there are always going to be a lot of strikers whichever club you are at.”
Of his switch to Suffolk, an “easy decision”, Murphy added: “Ipswich should be in a much better position that they are at the moment with the players they have here. I’ve come here to play football and help them move up the table.”