Murphy is ready for waiting game

LONG-term, Brian Murphy wants to be the next Shay Given; but short-term, he knows that he is not just going to walk into Ipswich Town's starting line-up.

Carl Marston

LONG-term, Brian Murphy wants to be the next Shay Given; but short-term, he knows that he is not just going to walk into Ipswich Town's starting line-up.

Town's new keeper, who officially joined the Portman Road staff on New Year's Day, is aiming to become Given's successor in the Republic of Ireland team in years to come.

But that's all in the future. Firstly, Murphy has a big battle on his hands to dislodge Arran Lee-Barrett from the No. 1 berth at Portman Road.


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Manager Roy Keane has a big decision to make, whether to stick with Lee-Barrett or throw Murphy into the fray for this Sunday's Championship clash at Leicester City.

"I'm under no illusions. It's going to be a tough four or five months ahead for me," admitted Murphy yesterday.

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"I know that I won't just be handed a start.

"I hope to earn my position every week, and hopefully that position will be starting every week.

"But it's the manager's call. I don't even know whether I'll be in the squad for the weekend. No one does yet."

Ex-Bohemians keeper Murphy, who won a string of individual and team honours during his three seasons in the League of Ireland, has not had a competitive game since last November.

For that reason, and the fact that Lee-Barrett has hardly put a foot wrong for Town over the last six weeks, Keane might resist changing his keeper for the trip to Leicester.

"I could have done with a game, and it was a blow that the reserves game was called off," admitted Murphy, with reference to the postponement of yesterday's scheduled home game against Wycombe Wanderers second string.

""Arran (Lee-Barrett) only signed, I think, because Shane Supple retired, but I've been very impressed with him over the last few weeks.

"I know that I have to prove myself all over again here," added Murphy.

Murphy was called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for the first time last November, for the World Cup play-off games against France, as back up for first choice Given, following the withdrawal of Coventry's Keiren Westwood. Given has played more than 100 games for his country.

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