Murphy motivated by Euro dream

Daryl Murphy, pictured in action for Ireland on Monday.

Daryl Murphy, pictured in action for Ireland on Monday. - Credit: PA

Championship defences beware, Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy is more motivated to score goals than ever before.

The 32-year-old striker started both legs of a crucial play-off tie over the weekend as the Republic of Ireland beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-0 on aggregate to book their place at next summer’s European Championships.

Now he has got seven months to show international boss Martin O’Neill that he deserves to still be the main man come the big kick-off in France.

“I’ve got to have a good season now, it’s as simple as that, because only 23 players can be in that squad,” said Murphy, who has been capped 19 times by his country.

“Some players go through their entire career without playing in a major tournament and I’ve got a chance to do that at the end of mine now. It’s my last chance to be involved in something as big as that.

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“I’ve got great memories of watching Ireland in the big tournaments when I was younger. We used to all gather at the pubs, not drinking obviously, but just to watch the games together. Everyone got dressed up – it was great.

“Even at the last Euros (in 2012) I was doing that. I was back home with all my mates cheering them on. It would be amazing if I could actually be there and play this time.

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“That’s the big challenge for me now – to make sure I get in that squad. And the only way that will happen is if I’m scoring regularly for Ipswich.”

Having finished last season as the Championship’s 27-goal top-scorer, Murphy went 14 matches without finding the net at the start of this campaign.

Slowly but surely he worked his way back to form though and there was a growing sense that the goals were coming prior to his hat-trick in the 5-2 win at Rotherham recently.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s home game against 14th-place Wolves, the front man said: “To be honest it was hard for me coming back to pre-season late (following international commitments) and then getting a few little niggles.

“I was starting, then coming on as a sub and I think I needed a run of games to just get my fitness. It’s only in the last two or three games I’ve felt 100 per cent fit and sharp and I think that’s shown in my performances.”

He added: “Last season I was shooting from everywhere and taking things on that I wouldn’t usually have done. When you’ve not scored for a while though you start to try and make sure that everything is perfect for you to hit.

“When you’re in form you just hit it without thinking about it and after getting a hat-trick you’ll probably see me shooting a bit more now.”

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