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Long wait is over for Daryl

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Daryl Murphy

Daryl Murphy

SPORTSFILE

Daryl Murphy

HE HAS scratched his seven-year itch.

And now, as he's enjoying the best football of his career, Daryl Murphy will play whatever role necessary to lead the national team towards success and on to the European Championship finals in France.

Tuesday's 4-1 win for Ireland over the USA was all about discoveries, as new caps David McGoldrick and Cyrus Christie showed no first-night-nerves and impressed on their debuts, while Robbie Brady emerged as an option, at least, for the left back slot.

Tuesday was also a night for rediscovering an old gem, as in-form Ipswich man Murphy, 31, started up front in that win. It was his 13th cap but only the second start of his Ireland career and the first time he was in the starting XI since a Steve Staunton-era appearance against Ecuador, back in 2007.

bench

Murphy's been around long enough - this is his 10th season in British football after his move from Waterford United - to take anything for granted, he's aware that the main talking point concerning an Ipswich Town player from the USA win was the sparkling display of fellow Tractor Boy McGoldrick, and knows that more established strikers were injured or rested on Tuesday. But a role off the bench will suit Murphy once the end result is a slot for Ireland at Euro 2016.

"My first start for Ireland in seven years, that's a very long time to wait but I am just delighted to have been given the chance," Murphy told The Herald.

" It was a good opportunity for the manager to give a run-out to some of the lads who haven't played much lately. I was hoping I would start. I saw that Robbie had gone back to the US, Shane Long and Jon Walters had played in Scotland so maybe the manager would rest them.

"So that left me, Didzy (McGoldrick) and Stokesey as the three strikers, I thought that one of us might start and in the end, all three of us did. I am under no illusions that I can just turn up and expect to start for Ireland.

"Tuesday was a great night for me, getting that start, it was an opportunity I don't get too often and I hope I did enough to show the manager that I can play a part in this campaign. If it's coming off the bench at 0-0 with 10 minutes to go and hoping to nick a goal here or there then that's fine.

"We have very good strikers in the squad, lads like Shane (Long) and Jon (Walters) in the Premier League, I am in a division below the Premier League but if I score goals for Ipswich and do well, I can stay in the Irish squad and contribute.

"The country deserves to qualify and we need it, we need to be in France in 2016 and to be involved in that, as a squad player or someone who can help out, would be great," added Murphy.

Ipswich don't have too many senior internationals these days so it was a big deal for the club, and manager Mick McCarthy, to have two starters in that win over the US.

DELIGHTED

"Mick was delighted with how the game went but from his point of view now the man thing was that his two players came back to Ipswich injury-free," Murphy jokes. "But I know he was delighted with David, Mick was keen for him to get the Irish eligibility over the line as soon as possible, he knows what a good player he is. And the downside is that more people will know about David now, it could be hard to keep hold of him in the next window.

"It's great to have David on board with Ireland now. We see his class every day in training at Ipswich and I was excited to see how he would do with the national team, though I knew he would do well because he is such a good player.

"Whoever is playing up front with him, he's easy to play with as he drops into those little holes, he is so comfortable on the ball, he makes things happen which is what Ireland need, we need a player like that. All the paperwork took a while but it was worth it and I think the Irish fans in Dublin the other night saw what a special player he is, if he was that good on his first start he can only get better."

Things are also going well for Murphy who, with 10 goals in 16 league games, is our most in-form striker in England's top divisions.

"This is definitely the best spell of my career. I think it's a mixture of things but it's important to me now that the family are settled - in the past I was very unsettled family-wise because of the loan moves. And that I know the manager's going to play me every week and has faith in me, it has all fallen into place," he added.


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