Former Sunderland striker Daryl Murphy ready to grasp his big chance at the Magpies

Newcastle defender Grant Hanley (left) battles against Philipp Hoffman at Brentford
Newcastle defender Grant Hanley (left) battles against Philipp Hoffman at Brentford
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Daryl Murphy says he is ready to take on the goalscoring mantle at Newcastle United – after finally opening his Championship account.

The former Sunderland striker scored his first league goal for the Magpies to seal Saturday’s 2-1 win at Brentford, glancing a header home to follow up his FA Cup strike at Birmingham the previous weekend.

Murphy, 33, was given his chance from the bench after Dwight Gayle, who hit the Tynesiders’ opening goal at Griffin Park, succumbed to a hamstring problem.

Gayle faces several weeks on the sidelines along with Aleksandar Mitrovic, who was injured at St Andrew’s.

“It’s two in two now, and that’s brilliant, said Murphy, the only fit striker now available to boss Rafa Benitez.

“It’s just a case of trying to keep that momentum going, if I play. It would be a nice to get a run, especially on the back of scoring a couple of goals.

“I’m still not up to full match speed. You can do all the running in training you like, and work as hard as you can, but at the end of the day you need to play to get properly up to speed.”

Murphy found his opportunities in the first half of the season limited by injury the form of Gayle.

“I always knew that I’d get a chance at some stage – it was just how long it would take that I didn’t know,” said the Republic of Ireland international.

“He knew that with my experience, and the fact I can score goals in this league, I could add something to the squad, something different to what we have.

“It’s just been a case of waiting for a chance, but now I’ve had that, and I’ve chipped in with a couple of goals.”

Ayoze Perez set up Murphy with a superb cross from the left.

“It was nice to get the goal, although I don’t really think I had to do that much because the ball was so good,” said Murphy.

“The delivery was that good, the weight of the cross, and I just had to direct the header, really. I didn’t need to put any power on it.

“I’ve waited so long for a chance that I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in the stands, watching the delivery from the wide players, and thinking ‘I’d love to be on the pitch getting onto the end of that’.

“The ball for the goal was unbelievable, with the outside of his foot. It was on a plate for me, and it was just a case of applying the finishing touch.”

Benitez reassured Murphy that he would get an opportunity during his long wait for a league start.

“He’s always just told me to be patient,” said Murphy.

“Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting on the bench, and getting a few minutes here and there, and that’s been good.

“I played in the cup, and then I came on here in unfortunate circumstances. I just had to be ready. I was able to take the only chance I got.”

Murphy, given his experience, knew he would eventually get an opportunity.

“I think it’s helped that I’ve got a bit of experience and I know how football works,” he said. “If I’d been a young lad, signing for a club like Newcastle, I would probably have been expecting to play from the start.

“That’s just the way it is these – young lads come through, and they think they’re going to be playing from the word go. I knew that wasn’t going to be the case, though.

“I came in as third or fourth-choice striker, and I knew it was going to take time. I just came in, got my head down and tried to settle in.”

Brentford: Bentley, Egan (Hofmann 87), Dean, Bjelland, Colin, Yennaris, McEachran (Jota 80), Woods, Field, Sawyers (Clarke 90), Vibe. Subs not used: Hogan, Bonham, Kerschbaumer, Barbet. Booked: Vibe. Goal: Vibe 52

Newcastle: Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden (Anita 62), Colback, Gouffran, Perez, Gayle (Murphy 28), Anita (Hanley 72). Subs not used: Lazaar, Sels, Sterry, Ameobi. Booked: Dummett. Goals: Gayle 20, Murphy 79

Att: 11,435. Ref: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire).