Murphy out to prove his worth
Written by Tom Easterby
Daryl Murphy says he can’t wait to show Newcastle United supporters what he can do after he finally made his league debut for the club at Blackburn earlier this week.
Republic of Ireland international Murphy, who has recovered from the calf injury that had kept him out of action for a substantial chunk of the season so far, entered the fray as a substitute at Ewood Park as United slipped to defeat in their first outing of 2017.
But after putting months of frustration behind him, the forward – who could feature for the Magpies in Saturday’s FA Cup Third Round clash at Birmingham City – is now looking forward to displaying his worth to fans who have only seen glimpses of him in a black and white shirt so far.
“They've seen nothing at all. I played my first game and I was quite happy with how I did, and then to pick up the injury the next day really was a big disappointment for me, especially just after signing so I'm eager to show the fans what I'm all about,” he told NUFC TV.
“I've been in this division a while, so I know what it’s all about and what you need. Hopefully I can help the team.
“I've been involved recently, and I just want to keep that going and hopefully get a chance.”
Murphy made his debut for the club in the 2-0 EFL Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in September, before a calf problem curtailed his progress.
After a brief substitute appearance in the quarter-final defeat to Hull City in November, the 33-year-old had to bide his time as he sought a return to first team action.
It’s been a long road back for a player who, until a few months ago, had enjoyed a career free of significant injuries.
“It’s taken a lot (of hard work), with the physios and in the gym, just trying to get it right,” he said. “I've had a few setbacks along the way, I've come back a few times, and I've come back too early and it just wasn't right, which was more frustrating.
“We just looked at it and thought ‘right, we need to get this right and take our time with it’, and thankfully that’s been the case.
“Especially coming back, being out training and suffering a recurrence of it is the most frustrating, and that’s the hard part to take – knowing that it’s not right and you have to go back to square one and make sure that the next time you get it right.
“It’s not nice watching the game from the stands, wanting to help the lads and knowing you can’t, but that’s part of football. I've been lucky throughout my career with injury, so I was due a setback at some stage.
“When I came back from injury, it wasn't a case of me being involved straight away. The lads were doing well, so I just had to impress in training really. I played with the Under-23s and got a bit of match fitness and I think that did me good, and it’s just a case of training hard every day and trying to catch the manager’s eye.”
This weekend’s visit to St. Andrew’s in the FA Cup gives United another chance to start a cup run, after they reached the last eight in the EFL Cup earlier this term.
A rampant Newcastle performance saw Rafa Benitez’s men sweep Birmingham aside in the league meeting between the sides at St. James’ Park, but Murphy reckons the Magpies may be in for a tougher afternoon this time around than during that 4-0 victory in December.
“You get some results like that where you beat teams easily enough, but it rarely happens the next time,” he warned. “I'm sure they’ll be well up for this game, as we will. It’ll be a tough scrappy game, but hopefully we can get the result.
“You want to play in as many games as you can and you want to be in as many competitions as you can for as long as you can. We’ll go there wanting to win and progress.
“It’s another competition, one we want to do well in. The league is obviously our main priority, but these games are good for some of the players who haven’t really played.
“The gaffer might change things and people might get a run. In that sense, everyone looks forward to cup games, so we’ll be no different.”
"I'm eager to show the fans what I'm all about. I've been in this division a while, so I know what it’s all about and what you need. Hopefully I can help the team."