Terry Butcher: Revitalised Murphy gives Ipswich Town hope

Daryl Murphy with the match ball after getting his hat-trick at Rotherham.

Daryl Murphy with the match ball after getting his hat-trick at Rotherham.

Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher has hailed Daryl Murphy’s goalscoring return and believes the striker’s renaissance is the perfect fillip for the promotion-chasing Blues.

The 32-year-old netted a hat-trick in the Blues’ 5-2 win at Rotherham on November 7, his first goals of the season, to end a 16-game goal drought which had stretched back to May.

Murphy, who has helped Republic of Ireland qualify for Euro 2016 after a two-legged aggregate victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina, plundered 27 goals last season, which coincided with the Blues’ march to the Championship play-offs.

This season, his struggles have been mirrored by Town, who before back-to back wins against Bolton and Rotherham, had won just one of their previous 10 league games.

The Blues return to action at home to Wolves on Saturday.

Butcher, who left his manager’s role at Newport, last month, said: “The last couple of results have put a lot of confidence in the team and the fact that (Daryl) Murphy is now scoring goals gives them a little bit of hope that possibly was not there a few weeks ago.

“They started this season in much the same way they finished the regular season in May and it will be good if they can put together a run of eight to 10 games unbeaten again.

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“You get a few wins and that breeds confidence and hopefully that will be the case at Ipswich and they can build on it.”

The 56-year-old has been a keen observer of Town since leaving Newport and is in no hurry to return to the game.

It’s not surprising since he is one of 19 Football League and Premier League managers to have left his job since the start of the season.

In the Championship alone, Gary Bowyer (Blackburn), Chris Powell (Huddersfield) and Chris Ramsey (QPR) have lost their jobs this month – a perceived lack of stability at those clubs in contrast to Ipswich, for whom Mick McCarthy has made season-on-season improvement.

On the sackings of Powell and Ramsey, McCarthy said recently: “It was a shock, I have to say, because I thought they (Huddersfield) were very good when they came here.

“To draw 2-2 at Reading and be sacked off the back of it is tough. I don’t know what their expectations are.

“I guess QPR will be thinking they should be going straight back up.”

He added: “It just shows you the pressure that’s on all of us to do well.”

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