Mick McCarthy recalls his Celtic fatigue as Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy is rested

Daryl Murphy won't feature against Stevenage tonight

Daryl Murphy won't feature against Stevenage tonight - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says his own experience as an international footballer influenced the decision to give Blues striker Daryl Murphy an early-season rest.

After playing for the duration in Town’s Championship opener on Saturday – a 4-2 home win against Barnsley – Murphy will not feature in tonight’s EFL Cup First Round clash at home to League Two Stevenage.

The 33-year-old is not expected back in training until tomorrow, but will be in contention to start Saturday’s league game at Brentford.

McCarthy, who won 57 caps for Republic of Ireland, admitted he suffered from fatigue just weeks after playing for his country at the 1988 European Championships and was conscious that 22-cap Murphy did not suffer the same fate.

“I went back to Celtic after my experience in 1988 and I had been given two weeks off (after Euro 88),” he recalled.

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“I went back flying and probably had my best pre-season ever and perhaps the only one I enjoyed because I was fitter than anyone else as I had gone all the way through the summer.

“I started the season fine and then in September, someone pulled the power plug and I did not have a run in me.

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“Billy McNeill (manager) pulled myself, Chris Morris and Packie Bonner in and told us ‘I sent three players away with the Republic of Ireland and they sent me no-one back’.

“That tells you how we were playing after that. We were running on empty and it suddenly felt like we had hit a brick wall and we were rested for a couple of games.”

Murphy is one of seven players that started on Saturday that will miss out tonight. The others are Bartosz Bialkowski, Adam Webster, Cole Skuse, Teddy Bishop, David McGoldrick and Christophe Berra.

“He (Murphy) was fine after Saturday, it’s just me trying to look after him from my experience,” said McCarthy.

“We have had a lot of injuries with Murph and I don’t want that to happen.

“If we don’t have any understanding of it (Murphy’s situation) and he ends up with a calf strain or a hamstring or anything he’s had in the past, and ends up being out for six weeks, then it would be remiss of me not to use my experience and make sure he is fully fit for all our league games, because when he is he makes a big difference.”

Dean Gerken, Tommy Smith, Paul Digby, Andre Dozzell, Conor Grant, Jonathan Douglas and Saturday’s substitute hat-trick hero, Grant Ward will all start this evening.

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