McCarthy hopes Town can deal with Murphy without suspended skipper

Daryl Murphy has scored seven goals for Nottingham Forest. Photo: PA

Daryl Murphy has scored seven goals for Nottingham Forest. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes his makeshift defence can deal with returning goal hero Daryl Murphy when Nottingham Forest visit Portman Road for a top-half Championship clash tomorrow afternoon.

Blues skipper Luke Chambers is serving a one-game ban after picking up his fifth booking of the season in Tuesday night’s morale-boosting 1-0 win at Derby County.

Murphy scored 67 goals during five years with Town to enter the club’s list of top 10 league scorers of all time.

The 34-year-old netted on his return to Suffolk with Newcastle United last April, albeit in a 3-1 defeat for the Magpies, before completing a £2m switch to Forest this summer.

MORE: Garner ruled out of Forest clash with Smith ‘nowhere near’ ready to replace suspended Chambers

“They’ve got the ever-green Daryl Murphy who we know as well, if not better than anybody else,” said McCarthy, who initially signed Murphy for Sunderland back in 2005.

“He’s still playing well up the top on his own, scoring goals (seven this season) and being a real threat. I have to say there will be a fair bit of that down to TC (Town assistant boss Terry Connor) with his finishing because he worked wonders with him here.

“He’s big and quick and powerful and has got quality, so on his day is difficult to deal with. It’s up to our centre-backs to stop him because he’s not playing for us anymore and so you treat him accordingly.”

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On the absence of his skipper, McCarthy said: “He will be straight back in the team irrespective of the result or performance of anyone else tomorrow, but I hope we don’t miss Chambo one bit.

“I’ve said before he is one of the best captains I’ve worked with, but I hope someone steps into his shoes and plays really well.

“I’ve said the same recently when people have asked me if we’ll miss Didzy (David McGoldrick) and Joe (Garner).”

MORE: ‘They are enjoying their football’: Forest boss knows all about Garner and Waghorn

On the role of his stand-in skipper, the Blues boss continued: “Skusey (Cole Skuse) wouldn’t be as verbal as Chambo, but then there’s not many that are. Skusey is different; he’s durable, he’s consistent, he’s seven out of 10 pretty much every week, if not higher.

“He’s highly thought of by the rest of them and they will always respect whatever he has to say.

“You’ve got to have a bit of personality to be the captain. It doesn’t have to be shouting and screaming, it can be about how you accept the ball and how you fizz it into others.”

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