Daryl Murphy could be the goalscoring hero at Portman Road this afternoon
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Daryl Murphy could be the goalscoring hero at Portman Road this afternoon, but not for Ipswich Town.
Republic of Ireland international Murphy, who top-scored for Ipswich with 27 league goals in season 2014/15, joined The Magpies from Town for an undisclosed fee last August.
Mostly used a substitute by Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez, Murphy has scored four goals in five Championship starts before today’s reunion at Portman Road.
With Newcastle searching for all three points at Portman Road this afternoon, as they search for automatic promotion, it could coincidentally be Murphy who plays a big part in helping The Magppies return to the Premier League at a stadium where he was adored.
And with top scorer Dwight Gayle out injured for this game, Murphy, who wasn’t even in the Newcastle squad in the Toon Army’s 3-0 win against Ipswich on Tyneside, could lead the line or partner Aleksandar Mitrovic in attack.
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Former Newcastle and current Ipswich Town defender Steven Taylor, also out injured for this encounter on ‘Sir Bobby Robson Day’, rates the experienced striker very highly.
“I think Murph has been outstanding when he’s played for them this season,” said Taylor.
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“He didn’t play as much when he first signed, and that surprised me, because I saw how well he did here (at Ipswich).
“The lads talked about him very highly here and it’s going to be a big day for him to come back to Portman Road and play against us.”
Taylor only left Newcastle last summer, after spending 13 seasons as a professional with the club, and has a lot of connections in the north-east.
“I went to Newcastle for about a week to watch a couple of training sessions and I think Rafa has got a fantastic thing going up there now,” said the defender, who joined Ipswich in January after a short spell at MLS side Portland Timbers.
“Jonjo Shelvey is a big part of their game plan, his passing will cut through any side in the Championship, as will Matt Ritchie’s ability, while Dwight Gayle’s record stands for itself, he’s a clinical finisher.”
Murphy was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw with Leeds United on Good Friday.