Murph makes it look easy, says Ipswich Town team-mate Noel Hunt
It's almost five years to the day since Daryl Murphy began his Ipswich Town adventure, with a goal inside 23 seconds on his debut against Middlesbrough.
A move to Celtic and three loan spells at Portman Road later, and the 31-year-old is in the form of his life and well on his way to becoming the first player since Shefki Kuqi, a decade ago, to hit the 20-goal mark for the season.
Hardly prolific in the past, Murphy hit just 34 goals in 243 senior appearances in England and Scotland, before sealing a permanent move to Suffolk in the summer of 2013.
Manager Mick McCarthy’s faith in the striker has been repayed in buckets by the Republic of Ireland international, who will hope to add to his 18 goals against struggling Wigan, at Portman Road, tomorrow afternoon.
Team-mate and old friend, Noel Hunt, is confident Murphy can continue his rich vein of form.
“He’s been flying this season and I’ve no doubt he will get to 20 goals, easy,” said Hunt, who knew Murphy as a youngster in Waterford.
“He is so big and strong and makes holding players off look so easy.
“His goalscoring record has been fantastic and he deserves it.
“For me, it’s nice to see watch him and see what he does better than me, and then ask him about it and see if I can improve myself.”
Wigan have won just two league games since August and are eight points adrift of safety.
This week, they have allowed Callum McManaman, Adam Forshaw, Ben Watson, Shaun Maloney and Ivan Ramis to leave the club, but were last night close to signing Leeds defender Jason Pearce and Inverness Caledonian Thistle striker, Billy McKay.
Town could kick-off on Saturday in sixth position, should Watford win at Bournemouth tonight and hosts Brentford defeat Middlesbrough in tomorrow’s early game, but end the day on top of the pile.
“Every game is a must-win,” said Hunt.
“We have to treat every game with the utmost respect. Wigan have big-name Premier League players and they will click, but we have got to make sure it’s not on Saturday.”