Settled and happy, Daryl Murphy insists he’s in the form of his life

Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy

Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy is targeting his best-ever goals tally for a season after hitting the form of his life.

Daryl Murphy scores his first half goal at Cardiff

Daryl Murphy scores his first half goal at Cardiff

In the eight seasons before he became a permanent Blues player, the 31-year-old scored 34 goals in 336 appearances for Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday, Celtic, Ipswich and the Republic of Ireland – that’s a rate of 0.1 goals per game.

Then Mick McCarthy handed him a two-year deal, gave him the No.9 shirt and made sure he was always played in his best position.

Settled, happy and full of confidence, he hit a career-best 13 goals last season. And he’s well on track to surpass that total this campaign having already hit seven in 12 league outings – including long-range corkers at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff.

“I think that would probably be up there as one of my best,” said Murphy, reflecting on Tuesday night’s crisply struck half-volley.

“The defence just backed off me, the ball sat up nicely and I just thought ‘why not?’ Because of the form I’ve been in I had that extra bit of confidence to take it on, whereas if you’re lacking a bit of confidence you don’t tend to shoot from there.”

Asked if this was the best form of his career, ahead of tomorrow’s Championship visit of Huddersfield, Murphy replied: “I think so, definitely. I’ve played well in the past, but I’ve never been as prolific as I have been over the last few games.

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“Being settled definitely is a big factor. You’re not always thinking ‘what’s going to happen at the end of the season?’ It’s not nice having to decide whether to move the kids out of school or be away from them.

“You can see in my form now that I’m well settled here and enjoying every minute.”

He continued: “The gaffer asked us all to write down how many goals we think we’d get at the start of the season. I won’t say what mine is, but I want to beat last year’s tally and get as many as I can.

“I’ve had a decent enough start, but I need to maintain it. There’s no point getting these early goals and then not doing it again for a while.”

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