Daryl Murphy: I would welcome the arrival of David McGoldrick
Daryl keen to carry on club form in green shirt
DARYL Murphy says he would welcome the arrival of fellow Tractor Boy David McGoldrick into the Ireland squad, even though that would see competition for places up front get even more intense.
Rated as one of the best strikers outside of the Premier League in England, McGoldrick has worked well at Ipswich alongside Waterford native Murphy this season, sharing nine league goals between them. He's eligible to play for Ireland and is in the process of clearing through the red tape, and Murphy would love to see the 26-year-old in a green shirt.
There is already competition for places up front - already-capped players like Simon Cox Conor Sammon and Paddy Madden didn't make it into the squad this time around. But Murphy says that McGoldrick would be a big addition to the panel, despite the added competition.
"I don't mind it to be honest because if he is doing well at the club and I'm doing well, hopefully there will be a space for both of us. He's a good player and someone who deserves a chance. Hopefully he'll get it," says Murphy, hoping to win his 13th senior cap against Gibraltar on Saturday.
"He [McGoldrick] is always asking me when I get back from the trips, what it's like, what the lads are like. He just wants to get fully fit, the paperwork should be done sooner rather than later and hopefully he can impress and get in.
"He is just trying to get his fitness back - he was out a long time - and he is getting there, but this [Ireland] is something he's keen on.
"He is a totally different type of player, he picks up positions and little pockets, someone like Wes [Hoolahan] who gets in those areas and makes things happen. He creates a lot of chances, for others and for himself, as you could see last year, he had 16 goals before he got injured at Christmas. He is an exciting player, he's only 26 so he has a lot to offer."
It looks like Murphy could have something to offer Ireland this week too. Not so long ago it seemed as if his Ireland career had ground to a halt - he won eight caps in the space of 18 months, a decent run under Steve Staunton and Giovanni Trapattoni, but after he played against Norway in 2008 the trail went cold.
His Ireland dream was revived by Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane and Murphy has recently won caps against Serbia, Turkey, Italy and Oman.
Mick McCarthy reckons that the ex-Waterford United man is playing the best football of his career at Ipswich now and Martin O'Neill also praised Murphy yesterday.
Murphy says his club form stems from the fact that McCarthy has allowed him play in his preferred striking position.
"It's given me the chance to play up front. I don't think I've played left of midfield since he's been there in charge and I think that's a big factor in why I'm doing so well.
"I know I'm going to play as a striker, I'm in the team at the moment every week and really enjoying it," he says, aware that Martin O'Neill has been to see him for Ipswich this season and, with Shane Long, Anthony Stokes and Kevin Doyle off the boil in terms of their club form, Murphy is the Irish striker in form at the moment.
"Martin's been to a few games over the past month or so, we've a few Irish lads at Ipswich so he's come to have a look and I've been scoring a few goals so I'm sure he's seen that," he says.
"I think a lot of the places are there to be fought for and to earn a chance. It's up to the players then if they do get the chance they have to produce."
Noting that Ireland are expected to beat Gibraltar on Saturday, he urges caution.
"We have to show Gibraltar a bit of respect, they're going to be a tough team to break down and we're going to have to go about it as we do every game, as professionally as we can, prepare right and then hopefully turn up on the night and beat them," he says.