Why Daryl Murphy's exit from Ipswich Town to Newcastle United isn't the end of the world
PUBLISHED: 09:56 30 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:56 30 August 2016
The departure of Daryl Murphy to Newcastle United could prove to be a blessing in disguise.
The Blues will receive around £3m for a 33-year-old who, in all honesty, doesn’t represent the long-term future at Portman Road and had scored just twice in 13 games prior to Saturday’s clash.
Yes, his exit has left Town short of physicality in attack, while the lateness of the move – the transfer window closes on Wednesday night – has left manager Mick McCarthy with little time to bring in reinforcements.
However, McCarthy has always had a contingency plan and will sign at least one striker, thought to be much-travelled targetman Leon Best, before the 11pm deadline.
Town fans will be disappointed to see the departure of their talisman, but Brett Pitman showed enough quality in his build-up play, during Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Preston, to suggest he could help fill the void left by the big Irishman.
Secondly, if McCarthy is allowed by owner Marcus Evans to reinvest all the Murphy money, that could help him strengthen his team in other areas. Town are decent enough at the back, but further forward they still lack a dynamic midfield figure who can get supporters off their seats with regular goals and assists.
On Saturday, the Blues played plenty of nice football – Pitman clever in attack – but, Grant Ward’s winner aside, didn’t create enough chances to put the game to bed.
Fortunately, they came up against a Preston team that offered little in the final third, although Bartosz Bialkowski did produce one superb first-half save to deny Callum Robinson.
Against better teams, the Blues may have found the going tougher and they can’t keep relying on moments of magic from Ward alone, whose goal came out of nothing really.
The strike was his fourth of the season, after a hat-trick on his debut against Barnsley, with the winger taking a touch before launching a half volley past Anders Lindegaard from 18 yards after the visitors had failed to clear a Kevin Bru free-kick properly.
But Ward aside, only Jonas Knudsen has scored from open play this season and Town need players who can unlock defences and score scruffy tap-ins.
Freddie Sears, played out wide again on Saturday, is desperate for a goal, while midfield trio Bru, Jonathan Douglas and Cole Skuse have scored just seven goals in a combined total of 247 games.
With Teddy Bishop still building his endurance levels, the arrival of at least one attacking midfielder would be welcome, while a goal poacher, if the Blues play to his strengths, would surely improve the team’s firepower.
The clock is ticking.