Murphy eyes up No.1 spot with Town

BRIAN Murphy, the Irish goalkeeper signed from Bohemians who will be eligible next month, arrived at the Ipswich Town training ground today.

Elvin King

BRIAN Murphy, the Irish goalkeeper signed from Bohemians who will be eligible next month, arrived at the Ipswich Town training ground today.

Murphy, who has previous English experience with Manchester City, Peterborough and Swansea, will now embark on a fitness regime to have him in tip-top shape before the FA Cup third round game at Blackpool on January 2.

He appreciates he has to dispose Arran Lee-Barrett from the number one position at Portman Road, but says he will be disappointed if he does not become a Town regular.

Called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifying play-off against France, Murphy said: “I face a lot of hard work in the next few weeks, even the next few months.

“It is up to me and if I don't get into the side I will have to look at myself.

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“The manager has given me an opportunity to play regularly and I plan to work hard and force his hand to play me every week.

“If not I will not be a happy person.”

Murphy has not played since the Irish League ended last month with Bohemians winning the Irish League and qualifying for the Champions League.

He has been keeping abreast with results at Portman Road, and admitted: “There were doubts at one time that I would not be working with Roy Keane as results were not going well.

“But they have picked up now.

“I would like to think Ipswich are now going in the right direction with eight matches unbeaten as I don't fancy being involved in a relegation scrap.

“I'm sure by the time I'm eligible they will be pushing up rather than looking behind them.

“Roy Keane describes Ipswich as a nice town and a nice football club and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Murphy says that he was pleased to read of the backing given to Keane by owner Marcus Evans and chief executive Simon Clegg.

“A new manager needs time to change the whole outlook of things and you can see the start of this now.

“The owner and chief executive know that it can take six to eight months to achieve.

“Getting into the full Irish squad was a boost for me, and Ipswich fans, who may not have known anything about me, will now know who I am.”

Thierry Henry's handball that led to France's winning goal has been the topic of conservation around the globe, but Murphy puts a philosophical look on it.

He said: “We all knew in the dressing room that it was hand ball and could not believe the goal was allowed to stand.

“But this is part and parcel of football and Ireland had enough chances over the two legs to have gone through.

“These decisions can lose a manager his job and World Cup places. But unlike rugby football is too quick a game to have video technology.

“I am expecting it to come, but when it does there will be no stopping. We will be like robots.

“I like to see tackles wading in and a bit of controversy for fans to talk about in the bars.”

Murphy feels it is a good time to leave the Irish League, adding: “It looks as though it will soon be back to semi-pro with clubs being run badly and wages not always being paid.”

Like his new manager, Murphy has pet dogs, and he says like his family they will have to settle down in Suffolk.

“It is a big move, and I can't afford to take long to settle in,” he said. “These are exciting times for me and I can't emphasise how big.”

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