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Saturday 16 December 2017

Murphy on double but Forest still remain unbeaten

IRELAND man Stephen Ward's new central midfield role has been praised after he helped Burnley scrape a valuable Premier League point.

The Clarets fielded a new-look side for their meeting with Leicester City, with left-back Ward pressed into a central role in the middle, and he played his part as Sean Dyche's side came from behind to draw 2-2.

"We went through about 20 different thoughts on how the team should operate in terms of shape, positions and we wanted balance, and I thought Stephen Ward delivered a very solid performance," said manager Dyche after he handed Ward his full Premier League debut for the Clarets.

The 2-2 draw was a good response from Burnley following a 4-0 loss to West Brom a week earlier and Ross Wallace was also impressed with Ward. Wallace said: "We worked unbelievably hard. We were missing some massive players. The injury list is unbelievable at the minute. I thought Stephen Ward and Scott Arfield were outstanding in the middle of the park, they dug in, we kept it tight and we always had a chance."

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says that Ireland striker Daryl Murphy is in the form of his life after he contributed two goals in a 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest.

Enjoying

"They were two great goals from a striker playing some of the best football of his career and enjoying his football," McCarthy said.

"I have known him for a long time and Terry (Conor) is one of the best coaches of strikers I have seen and he's done wonders with him."

Forest boss Stuart Pearce feels that the international break will give Andy Reid a chance to recover from his recent injury problems.

"We certainly hope Andy Reid and David Vaughan will be closer to full fitness when we return. We have a fitness programme for both of those players," Pearce said.

Reid sat out yesterday's draw with Ipswich and he was also forced to withdraw from the Ireland squad for the Euro 2016 games.

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