Poll: Will Daryl Murphy become Ipswich Town’s first 20-goal-a-season man since Shefki Kuqi?

Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy

Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town fans are convinced red-hot Daryl Murphy will end the club’s decade-long wait for a 20-goal-a-season man.

Shefki Kuqi's famous 'swallow dive' celebration

Shefki Kuqi's famous 'swallow dive' celebration - Credit: Archant

The last player to do that was Shefki Kuqi in 2004/05, the flying Finn hitting the magic number as Joe Royle’s side narrowly missed out on automatic promotion before losing to West Ham in the Championship play-off semi-finals.

Fast-forward 10 largely disappointing years and Town look like genuine promotion contenders once again.

Second in the table as the halfway stage of the season fast approaches, powerful front man Murphy currently leads the division’s scoring charts with 13 – already equalling his career-best tally of last season.

When asked whether they felt the Republic of Ireland international would reach the 20 mark during yesterday lunchtime’s live webchat, an overwhelming majority of 96% of participating supporters voted ‘yes’.

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“He’s on fire,” enthused team-mate Christophe Berra after Murphy’s two goals in Saturday’s 4-1 home win over Leeds. “He’s physical, great in the air and a threat in the box, but he’s got pace too and when he gets going it’s difficult to stop him. I certainly wouldn’t want to mark him.”

Town are just two points behind the club’s 20-game points tally of 04/05. Darren Bent was Kuqi’s strike partner that season and he contributed 19 goals. David McGoldrick is the man alongside Murphy and, already on six, the clever and skilful forward is showing signs that he is only just getting back to his brilliant best following a long-term knee injury.

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Is there a better front two in the Championship?

“Not at the moment,” said Berra. “The great thing about them is they do the dirty work too.

“They both defend from the front, continually press the ball and that’s why I think you see defenders just kicking the ball off the pitch towards the end of games because they’re knackered.”

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