Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy puts country over club to help Daryl Murphy get fit for the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 campaign

Daryl Murphy in action for the Republic

Daryl Murphy in action for the Republic - Credit: PA

If Daryl Murphy gets amongst the goals at Euro 2016 this summer the striker will have Mick McCarthy to thank, after the Ipswich Town boss put country over club during the closing weeks of last season.

The Ipswich striker suffered a calf injury while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland in March, which ultimately ended his domestic season, but he’s now fit and fighting for a place in Martin O’Neill’s final squad for the European Championships.

Murphy could have returned from injury much earlier but, with the Blues’ hopes of making the play-offs fading, former Republic boss McCarthy opted to give his striker the best chance of being fit for a big summer, rather than forcing him into club action before the end of the campaign.

The 33-year-old is grateful and perhaps a little surprised: “I don’t think there are many managers who would have said that to me and, at my age, this will be my last major tournament if I get into the final squad,” Murphy said.

“I didn’t have to say anything. Basically, the conversation was, ‘when do you think you will be back?’ “I said I could be back within a week. But he said, ‘look, we can’t get into the play-offs, you need to get your match fitness right (for the Euros) so what is the point really?’

“He (McCarthy) did say he had calf problems before so he knows what I needed to do to get it right and it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. From that point of view, you are obviously listening, because he knows what you are talking about.

“In the back of his mind, he knew an extra few weeks with the physio would help.”

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Murphy started the Republic’s final two qualifiers as they secured their spot in France last November, but the Ipswich striker knows his prior form counts for nothing as he battles to be included in the final squad

“If I get picked, hopefully I will be picked but it is up to the manager,” he said.

“The games I played (towards the end of the qualification campaign) are in the past. It is about the guys who are playing well in the games now that counts. Look at Longy (Shane Long) and what he is doing. He is absolutely flying.

“It is the gaffer’s decision at the end of the day. If I go, at least the gaffer knows he can trust me, that if I play any part that he knows I can do a job for him.”

Murphy has yet to open his account for his country, but would love to head into this summer’s tournament having found the net in either of the Republic’s warm-up games against the Netherlands or Belarus, prior to group clashes with Italy, Sweden and Belgium.

“Any goal for Ireland would be great, but I cannot allow that affect me,” he said.

“If I play, and do all the things that I am able to - hold the ball up, get players involved, flick ons - then the chances, and the goals, hopefully, will come.

“It is just a case of getting that one. It does not seem to want to go in for me for whatever reason but if the chance comes my way, hopefully I can take it.”