Rafa Benitez outlines Daryl Murphy’s hidden role at Newcastle

Daryl Murphy. Picture by Frank Reid
Daryl Murphy. Picture by Frank Reid

Rafa Benitez says Daryl Murphy’s worth more than just goals to Newcastle United.

Murphy took his goal tally for the season to six with a strike in the 3-1 Easter Monday defeat to his former club Ipswich Town.

You need a balance between young players, hungry with motivation, and those who can calm people.

Rafa Benitez

Five of the striker’s goals have come in the Championship, despite the 34-year-old having only made six starts and seven substitute appearances in the division this season.

Murphy, signed on a two-year deal, had an impressive scoring record for Ipswich.

But Benitez brought the Republic of Ireland international to St James’s Park last summer as much for his knowledge of English football’s second tier as his goalscoring ahead of his first campaign in the Championship.

Asked about Murphy’s experience, United manager Benitez said: “Not just his age, but his quality and experience in the Championship.

“First day, I am told ‘you don’t know the Championship’.

“Some say ‘you need the people in the Championship to manage situations like that’.

“Players with this experience can help.

“You need a balance between young players, hungry with motivation, and those who can calm people.”

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy admitted ahead of the Easter Monday game that his team had “missed” Murphy, who found his opportunities limited in the first half of the season by the form of Dwight Gayle and an injury.

“Murph was brilliant for us and we have missed him, no doubt about that,” said McCarthy.

“We have missed his goals, his power, his pace and his ability up front to stick the ball for us.

“We have tried a number of things to replace him that haven’t worked.

“He has not played on a regular basis up there, but when he came on in a game recently, he actually changed the game for them.

“He’s played more now and he is a damn good Championship player.”