Daryl Murphy reflects on his long wait for a Newcastle chance '“ and goal
Daryl Murphy's hoping his first goal for Newcastle United can kick-start his season.
The striker netted in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Birmingham City in a third-round FA Cup tie.
Murphy, signed from Ipswich Town last summer, prodded the ball home early in the game as Aleksandar Mitrovic suffered a cut to his leg which led to him being taken to hospital.
It was only Murphy’s second start for the club, and the Republic of Ireland international was pleased to come through a tough 90 minutes at St Andrew’s.
And the 33-year-old – who suffered an injury on his debut in an EFL Cup tie in September – feels he’s finally up to speed.
“You can do all the fitness you want, but training-wise nothing compares to playing in games,” said Murphy.
“That 90 minutes will have done me the world of good, but I am still just lacking a bit of sharpness which will only come with games.
“I picked up an injury after my first start and the injury dragged on.
“I came back, but it wasn’t right and I had to go back to square one. It happened a few times, and I had to take my time and make sure it was right.
“I have waited a while for a chance as we have done so well, but I got a start and have scored.”
Murphy admits it has been frustrating watching from the sidelines given the deliveries Matt Ritchie has been putting in the box for 19-goal Dwight Gayle, the Championship’s leading scorer, and Mitrovic.
“When you see some of the deliveries that our wide players like Matt Ritchie in particular ... his delivery is absolutely brilliant,” said Murphy.
“You are sitting in the stand week in week out dying to be on the end of those crosses.
“I got lucky and was in the right place at the right time.”
Mitrovic was fortunate to escape with only a cut, having been caught by goalkeeper Adam Legzdins as he attempted to block Murphy’s shot.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Murphy. “I have seen the cut. It was a bad one.
He was a big loss in the game. The two of us up there would have been a handful for their backline. But hopefully he’ll be OK and back soon.”