Stephen Hunt described as ‘annoying’ and ‘bonkers’ by Murphy and McCarthy

Stephen Hunt

Stephen Hunt - Credit: Lucy taylor

Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy hailed the performance of fellow Irishman Stephen Hunt, whose man-of-the-match display helped inspire the Blues to a 2-0 victory over Reading on Saturday.

Hunt was a constant menace against his former employees and, helped by the deft touch of David McGoldrick, played a major part in setting up Murphy’s 62nd-minute opener with a magnificent driving run and pass.

“He was very good,” said Murphy, who ran Hunt close to the man-of-the-match accolade with an impressive display of his own.

“That’s Hunty, that’s what he gives you – he gives you energy and determination, he buzzes around the pitch and he played really well.”

Hunt, making his second start in an Ipswich shirt, was always involved with an all-action display that was warmly appreciated by the Portman Road faithful before his withdrawal for fellow former Royals midfielder Jay Tabb.

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That came just four minutes after Hunt helped create Murphy’s emphatic right-foot finish that thundered into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

Murphy, who grew up, like Hunt, in Waterford, Republic of Ireland, was full of praise for his team-mate: “He’s too bubbly to be honest with you!

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“He can be annoying sometimes but I think that’s just him, that’s the way he has always been and he’s never going to change so you kind of get used to it.”

Town boss Mick McCarthy echoed Murphy’s thoughts post-match. “Hunty’s bonkers and I love him for it,” he said.

“He comes in and lights the place up.

“He says things that people just wouldn’t say.

“I went to see him (on Friday) while he was having a massage and I said to him ‘is that Hunty on there?’ and he said ‘yes’, so I said ‘I need a word with you’. He said ‘I’m already on it, already on it’.

“I said ‘what?’ and he said ‘the team, I’ve asked somebody else to phone them so they won’t know who’s called them’.

“I said ‘how do you know what I was going to ask you?’. He said ‘that’s what you want, isn’t it?’ and Skusey (Cole Skuse) said ‘he wants to know how many fans are travelling, what do you think he wants to know!’

“And it wasn’t what I wanted to know at all! I didn’t want to know their team, I knew what it was anyway because they’d won 7-1 so it was going to be the same team.

“He’s just great, he gets the team going, he laughs at himself and he’s just a really good pro. He’s lovely to have around.

“He certainly gets the crowd going. I only took him off because he was goosed. Amazingly I’d said to him ‘you’ve got five more minutes’ and he suddenly found a bit more energy to create the goal.”

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