Become a legend – McCarthy challenges Murphy to match feats of Town heroes Phillips and Crawford

Daryl Murphy celebrates his second goal at Craven Cottage on Saturday

Daryl Murphy celebrates his second goal at Craven Cottage on Saturday

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has challenged red-hot striker Daryl Murphy to match the goalscoring feats of club legends Ted Phillips and Ray Crawford.

Murphy netted his 20th and 21st goals of the campaign in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Fulham; breaking his nose in the process of heading home the fifth minute opener and then returning to the field to curl home a sublime second just before the break.

Ross McCormack’s 75th minute reply was a mere consolation in a convincing away win, Murphy becoming Town’s first player since David Johnson, in the promotion season of 1999/00, to hit 20 league goals in a term.

Having surpassed the 19 league goals tally recorded by Marcus Stewart (00/01), Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi (both 04/05), Murphy now needs one more to equal Johnson’s total of 99/00; 22 the number also achieved by Alan Brazil in 1981/82. The next target would be the 25 scored by Ray Crawford in 62/63 followed by the 28 netted by Ted Phillips in 61/62.

On his in-form number nine, McCarthy said: “Let’s not be lauding over him for getting 21, let’s see if he can get 30 and get past that. To be fair to him, he’s not sitting on his laurels, he’s still working hard at it. It’s a great tally for him but we want more from him.”

Murphy, 31, joked: “I didn’t even see the first one go in to be honest with you because my eyes were all blurred and watery, but if it takes a broken nose to score every week then I’d take it.

“They had to click it back in to place. That’s why it took so long to get me back on because it wouldn’t stop bleeding. It would take a sledgehammer to keep me off the pitch at the moment though.”

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Asked how many more he could score in the final 15 games, Murphy said: “I don’t know! I just wanted to get to 20 as soon as possible, I’ve done that now, so I’ll just keep going and get as many as I can.

“I was delighted when that first one went in to get that number 20 out the way, then I get another. I’m still waiting for that hat-trick. Hopefully one of them will come along before the end of the season.

“To finish as the league’s leading scorer would be nice, but I’m not really thinking about that. It’s about the team and where we finish up which is the main thing.”

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