Daryl Murphy has set his sights on promotion after completing his move from Ipswich to Newcastle yesterday.
The 33-year-old enjoyed the most productive period of his career at Portman Road, netting 67 goals in 225 appearances in five seasons.
However, the opportunity to join the Magpies was one he couldn’t resist.
“I’m absolutely delighted to get it over the line and really looking forward to it,” said Murphy, after signing a two-year deal at Newcastle for an undisclosed fee.
“When I knew the club was interested, it was a no-brainer for me so I’m happy it’s all done. I think with the squad of players that the club have now, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.”
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez added: “Daryl has experience and has proven that he can score goals in the Championship. Daryl has a good attitude and he can be very important for us this season.”
Murphy’s optimism is understandable as his new side, after a ropey start, now seem to have adjusted to life in the Championship.
Saturday’s 2-0 win over Chris Hughton’s Brighton was their third on the trot and lifted Newcastle to fourth. The addition of Murphy should only help their cause.
While Newcastle were celebrating, Hughton cut a frustrated figure. He said: “We missed a really good opportunity to get something here; we had the two best chances.” One positive for Hughton was a solid showing on his Brighton debut from Shane Duffy.
He added: “I thought the two centre-halves were very good, particularly Shane, because it was his debut. He had his first training session with us yesterday and I thought he put in a very sturdy performance.”
Ipswich may have lost Murphy at the weekend but there was a measure of consolation for Mick McCarthy as the Tractor Boys beat Preston 1-0 to climb to within a point of the play-off positions.
“I thought we were excellent,” McCarthy said. “We played really well in the first half and then we stood up to a right scrap in the second half - it was a real bloke’s performance.”
Reflecting on Murphy’s exit, McCarthy said: “Daryl put in a transfer request and my view is you don’t stand in the way of someone who wants to leave. “Newcastle probably think they can get back to the Premier League so it’s a good move for him but it’s a good deal for us as well and we will reinvest the money. I’ve no doubt we will get someone in. I’ve been on the phone non-stop recently so we will see what happens over the next few days.”
On the pitch, it was a quiet weekend with not a single Irish player netting in the Championship.
In League One there was just one Irish scorer, Billy Clarke converting a penalty as Bradford drew 1-1 at home to Oldham.
In League Two, Pádraig Amond netted in Hartlepool’s 2-2 draw with Newport while Crawley’s James Collins scored an own goal in the 3-1 home defeat to Notts County.
In the Scottish Premiership, a goal from Adam Rooney couldn’t prevent Aberdeen from losing 4-1 at Celtic.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved