Murphy on cloud nine after breaking duck

GOAL-HERO Daryl Murphy does not get the feeling that his new club, Ipswich Town, are embroiled in a relegation battle.

Carl Marston

GOAL-HERO Daryl Murphy does not get the feeling that his new club, Ipswich Town, are embroiled in a relegation battle.

Murphy was on cloud nine after taking just 22 seconds to break the deadlock against Middlesbrough on his Town debut, following his loan move from Sunderland on transfer deadline day.

It was the Irishman's first goal for two years. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to earn all three points.

"It didn't feel like I was playing in a team struggling against relegation," insisted Murphy.

"We played quite well and created a lot of chances really. We had them under pressure a lot.

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"I thought overall we deserved a victory."

Murphy was wracking his brains to recall his previous goal. He finally settled on the vital winner for Sunderland, ironically against Middlesbrough, in April, 2008, which guaranteed the Black Cats' Premier League status for another season.

However, the official records have credited that goal not to Murphy, but to an own goal by Emanuel Pogatetz.

Before then, Murphy's previous goal was almost two years ago to the day - the second in Sunderland's 2-0 home win over Wigan on February 9, 2008.

"It's a relief to be playing up front. I was actually forgetting what it's like to score a goal," said Murphy.

"But I think that definitely coming here and obviously playing as a striker is a big thing for me.

"I can't even remember when my last goal was. I think it was against Middlesbrough actually, to keep us up in the Premier League. That was about two years ago.

"I think I'm wasted as a left midfielder really. I just wanted the chance to play as a striker."

The fact that Keane sees Murphy as an out-and-out striker, rather than a left-midfielder, is a big relief for the 26-year-old.

"The Sunderland scout watching might see me as a striker now. He might not see me as a left midfielder anymore!" continued Murphy, tongue-in-cheek.

"Since I've been playing football, just because I'm left-footed and because I can cross a ball, they think - "Yes, we'll stick him out in left midfield and see how he gets on."

"It's a handy option for managers, because obviously there's going to be a lot of strikers at whatever club you're at."

It was no coincidence that his Sunderland team-mate, David Healy, should create Murphy's goal with a precise cross. The duo had travelled down to Suffolk from Tyne & Wear together last week.

Murphy said: "I'm surprised he (Sunderland boss Steve Bruce) let David (Healy) go, because they haven't got many strikers.

"But it was good to get off the mark so early. I knew David was definitely going to cross it, and obviously it does help that I've played with him before.

"You know when he gets in that position, there's only one thing he is going to do, which is to put it in the box and obviously you have to be there.

"I couldn't have wished for a better start. Obviously as a striker you want to get off the mark as soon as you can, so it was brilliant.

"I did feel the pace of the game. I was quite tired after half-an-hour to be honest, but then I got my second wind," concluded Murphy.

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