Ipswich are a target in 2016 - Murphy

Daryl Murphy shields the ball at Brighton

Daryl Murphy shields the ball at Brighton

Daryl Murphy knows Ipswich Town enter 2016 with a target on their backs after ensuring a place in the top six at the turn of the year.

Mick McCarthy’s side have recovered from a mid-season slump to occupy the final play-off place heading into 2016, with a run of seven wins in their last 10 games enough to give the Blues a four-point cushion over Sheffield Wednesday in seventh.

The latest success came at promotion rivals Brighton on Tuesday night and, with a host of teams below them still hopeful of challenging for promotion, Murphy is expecting a tight second half to the campaign.

“It was important for us to stay in there really as we’re going into the new year battling for the top six,” Murphy said.

“There’s not much in it, bar the top two probably, so anyone just below us can get in there if they go on a run of form.

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“That’s what usually happens after the new year, somebody usually picks up results and goes on a bit of a run and end up getting in there.

“We’re in there and we need to stay there. This league is a mad league where anyone can beat anyone on their given day but we’re on good form at the minute so it’s about maintaining that.”

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The Blues go to Burnley on Saturday looking to break the club’s record for successive away victories, having picked up their fifth at Brighton, but Murphy’s not sure why things have suddenly clicked away from Portman Road.

“I can’t put my finger on it, we just seem to get results when we go away,” he said.

“I don’t know because last year our home form was very good, so if we can start getting results at home and keep this up we have a good chance of being up there.

“We approach every game for the same and for whatever reason we seem to be playing better away from home.

“Burnley’s a big game for us as now, they’re all big but another one away from home.

“They seem to be going well at the minute and we know they’re a tough team from the previous times we’ve been there because we’ve had some very hard games.

“I’m sure this one will be no different.”

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