Daryl Murphy reacts to his first league goal for Newcastle – and the loss of Dwight Gayle

Newcastle United's Daryl Murphy.
Newcastle United's Daryl Murphy.
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Daryl Murphy’s ready to take on the goalscoring mantle at Newcastle United – after finally opening his Championship account.

Murphy scored his first league goal for the club in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brentford.

The delivery was that good, the weight of the cross, and I just had to direct the header, really. I didn’t need to put any power on it.

Daryl Murphy

The striker, signed from Ipswich Town last summer, glanced a header home to claim all three points for Newcastle at Griffin Park.

Murphy’s goal followed his FA Cup strike against Birmingham City the previous weekend.

United manager Rafa Benitez sent on the 33-year-old after losing Dwight Gayle – who scored the opening goal – to a hamstring injury.

Gayle faces several weeks on the sidelines along with Aleksandar Mitrovic, injured at St Andrew’s.

“It’s two in two now, and that’s brilliant, said Murphy.

“It’s just a case of trying to keep that momentum going if I play. It would be a nice to get a run, especially on the back of scoring a couple of goals.

“I’m still not up to full match speed. You can do all the running in training you like, and work as hard as you can, but at the end of the day you need to play to get properly up to speed.”

Murphy found his opportunities in the first half of the season limited by injury the form of Gayle.

“I always knew that I’d get a chance at some stage – it was just how long it would take that I didn’t know,” said the Republic of Ireland international. “He knew that with my experience, and the fact I can score goals in this league, I could add something to the squad, something different to what we have.

“It’s just been a case of waiting for a chance, but now I’ve had that, and I’ve chipped in with a couple of goals.”

Ayoze Perez set up Murphy with a superb cross.

Perez broke down the left and delivered the ball into the box with the outside of his right boot.

“It was nice to get the goal, although I don’t really think I had to do that much because the ball was so good,” said Murphy. “The delivery was that good, the weight of the cross, and I just had to direct the header, really. I didn’t need to put any power on it.

“I’ve waited so long for a chance that I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in the stands, watching the delivery from the wide players, and thinking ‘I’d love to be on the pitch getting onto the end of that’.

“The ball for the goal was unbelievable, with the outside of his foot. It was on a plate for me, and it was just a case of applying the finishing touch.”

Benitez reassured Murphy that he would get an opportunity during his long wait for a league start.

“He’s always just told me to be patient,” said Murphy.

“Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting on the bench, and getting a few minutes here and there, and that’s been good.

“I played in the cup, and then I came on here in unfortunate circumstances. I just had to be ready. I was able to take the only chance I got.”

Murphy, given his experience, knew he would eventually get an opportunity.

“I think it’s helped that I’ve got a bit of experience and I know how football works,” he said. “If I’d been a young lad, signing for a club like Newcastle, I would probably have been expecting to play from the start.

“That’s just the way it is these – young lads come through, and they think they’re going to be playing from the word go. I knew that wasn’t going to be the case, though.

“I came in as third or fourth-choice striker, and I knew it was going to take time. I just came in, got my head down and tried to settle in.”