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Ipswich Town striker David McGoldrick reunited with Daryl Murphy in Republic’s defeat to Mexico

PUBLISHED: 09:25 02 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:25 02 June 2017

Ipswich Town's David McGoldrick played the full game against Mexico. Picture: PA SPORT

Ipswich Town's David McGoldrick played the full game against Mexico. Picture: PA SPORT

PA Wire

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has challenged strikers Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick to play themselves into his World Cup qualifier plans.

Former Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy, right, played 64 minutes in the defeat to MexicoFormer Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy, right, played 64 minutes in the defeat to Mexico

The pair were both involved in Ireland’s 3-1 friendly clash defeat to Mexico at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey during the early hours of this morning and with Robbie Keane having retired from international football and Shane Long injured, there is a place up for grabs when Austria head for Dublin on June 11.

Victory over the Austrians at the Aviva Stadium would leave O’Neill’s men in a strong position to secure qualification from Group D, and whoever leads the line will have a key role to play in that quest.

Murphy and McGoldrick both started the game against Mexico, with the current Ipswich striker playing the full 90 minutes. Murphy was subbed off after 64 minutes.

The team flew straight back to Dublin after the game today and will return to action on Sunday when they take on Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium in another friendly.

Of Murphy, O’Neill said: “We’ve seen very, very little of him since the start of the competition. He scores the header against Serbia, great, then certainly when the international matches come around, he seems to be plagued with those injuries.

“At the minute, he’s trained, he seems okay. He’s one we’ll look at a bit more carefully. He’s delighted to come and I think this should help him with his club career.”

It has proved a frustrating season for 34-year-old Murphy, who started just eight league games and scored five goals for Newcastle last season following his £3m move from Ipswich in August.

But the chance to resume his partnership with former club-mate McGoldrick is one O’Neill hopes will pay dividends in the long run.

He said: “It was very effective (at Ipswich). Of course I’m well aware of their relationship.

“Yes, it’s a thought in my head but it’s not the prevailing thought in my head. I think they can play with someone else alongside them if that’s the case or play on their own.”

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