Daryl Murphy: Why I NEVER knocked on Rafa Benitez's door when I was on fringes at Newcastle
Daryl Murphy's never been a player to knock on his manager's door.
Just as well, as Rafa Benitez’s office door would have taken a pounding in the first half of the season.
Murphy, instead, got his head down and trained. Hard.
Now the striker’s knocking in the goals for Newcastle United.
The 33-year-old has scored three goals in three games.
Such is his importance to Benitez, Murphy could even be rested for this afternoon’s FA Cup tie against Oxford United.
“I am not a player who knocks on the manager’s door when I am not playing,” said Murphy. “I have never done that in my career.
“The way I see it, if the manager wants you to play, then you play. The only thing I can do is train as well as I could and try to catch his eye.
“The manager has talked to me over my time here and has told me to keep going, encouraging me really. I would get my chance.”
Murphy’s break came in the last round of the FA Cup.
He scored minutes into the club’s third-round tie against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s early this month and followed that goal up with Championship strikes against Brentford and Rotherham United.
“I have scored a few important goals this season,” said Murphy.
“I had to bide my time here and wait for my chance. I was always ready, training as hard as I could to wait for an opportunity.
“When I first signed I knew I wasn’t going to play straight away. It was a challenge for me to try to get into the team and show what I can do.
“As I said, it was just a case of biding my time and making sure when the chance came around I did well. It’s a long season, especially in the Championship.
“I knew that at some stage I would get my chance. I just had to wait.”
In a summer when Dwight Gayle, Mohamed Diame and Matt Ritchie arrived at St James’s Park, the signing of Murphy wasn’t a big deal.
But it was a big deal for the Waterford-born player, who had a spell in the North East with Sunderland earlier in his career.
“He didn’t have to sell this club to me,” said Murphy.
“As soon as I knew Newcastle were interested, it was an easy decision.
“No manager can guarantee that you will play every week, and I knew that was the case with the quality of the players coming here. It was a challenge.
“Thankfully, over the last few weeks I have a chance, and hopefully I have taken it.
“I was always confident of making an impact.
“I have been in the Championship long enough, I have scored goals in this league and I know what I can bring to this team. Thankfully I got a chance.”
Murphy’s the oldest player in Benitez’s squad.
With age comes experience, and Murphy knew his chance would come.
Murphy said: “It is just a case of me getting my head down here. I have lots of experience in this league, and I know how tough it is and that the games come thick and fast.
“You need a big squad and we have that here.
“I am just one of a lot of players the manager can call on to do a job. I think it is important to have experience in his squad.
“If you look around most of the squads up there, there are experienced players in the squads. This one is a pretty young squad, and I am probably the oldest. “All the lads are brilliant. I have been there and done it in this league. Hopefully, I can bring more of that to the team.”
Murphy signed a two-year deal at the club.
“First and foremost it was about getting a chance and helping Newcastle win promotion,” he said. “That was the main aim, still is.
“If we do, we’ll see what happens then. Of course I’d like to stay. I have got another year, so we’ll see.”