Ipswich can’t continue to give teams a head start at Portman Road - Murphy

Daryl Murphy shoots for goal but has his effort saved during the second half of the Ipswich Town v P

Daryl Murphy shoots for goal but has his effort saved during the second half of the Ipswich Town v Preston North End (Championship) football match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 16 January 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Daryl Murphy knows Ipswich Town can’t afford to continue giving teams a head start at Portman Road if they’re going to hold their own in the race for promotion.

The Blues went a goal behind for a fifth straight home league game as Daniel Johnson gave Preston a seventh-minute lead on Saturday, with the Blues winning two, losing two and drawing one of those games.

Murphy’s 25-yard equaliser ultimately rescued a point in a 1-1 draw, but the Irishman knows his side can’t afford to carry on being so generous at home between now and the end of the season if they are to remain in the promotion chase.

He said: “It was sloppy from us, we never started well and they obviously scored early.

“I thought they played quite well for 15 or 20 minutes until we got into our stride.

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“They’re a decent team and they’ve got good players, so we knew what we were up against but we were sloppy at the start.

“It’s something to look at, we always go out to start well and sometimes it doesn’t work.

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“The last two games we’ve not done too well from the start so it’s something we need to sort out.

“We’re disappointed not to be winning our home games but our away form is brilliant, so if we can sort it out at home we’ll be alright.

“We’ve done well away from home but we need to keep doing it, and if we change our fortunes at home then we’ll be there or there abouts.”

Saturday’s goal was Murphy’s eighth of a season that started slowly, as he looks to back up a 27-goal 2014/15 campaign, but the Irishman is happy to be sharing the scoring load with Brett Pitman and Freddie Sears, who have seven and six respectively.

“It’s a good finish, I’ve turned well and there’s space there, nobody really closed me down so in the back of my mind I was always going to shoot. Thankfully it went in.

“I don’t think I was ever going to do as well as I did last season, with 27 goals, but obviously you want to do as well as you can.

“This season we’ve shared the load, Pitts and Searsy are nearly on the same amount of goals so we’re all chipping in.

“In the run-in after the new year we need to be consistent, hopefully I can keep scoring.”

Report and analysis –Pages 47-51

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