Aston Villa v Newcastle: Ex-Sunderland striker ready to fight for Mags place

Newcastle's ex-Sunderland striker, Daryl Murphy
Newcastle's ex-Sunderland striker, Daryl Murphy
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Former Sunderland striker Daryl Murphy says he’s ready for the hard work ahead of him at Championship club Newcastle United.

The Irishman made his debut in Tuesday night’s 2-0 EFL Cup win over Wolves, setting up a home fourth-round clash with Preston on Tuesday, October 25.

Murphy – who joined Newcastle late last month from Ipswich Town – was relieved to finally make his first appearance for the club.

Now he hopes to figure in tomorrow’s televised Championship trip to Aston Villa (5.30pm kick-off).

Reflecting on his debut, the 33-year-old said: “It’s always nice. I’ve had to be patient, but I was pleased to get the opportunity in the end.

“It felt comfortable coming into the side. The gaffer’s been patient with me, and I’ve been training with the lads day in, day out, so I’m well used to how they play now.

“I’m just looking forward to the next few games.”

Murphy, used to starting week in, week out for Ipswich, was prepared to wait for his chance at Newcastle.

“He (boss Rafa Benitez) just told me to be patient and I’d get my chance,” said the Republic of Ireland international.

“The team’s been flying, so I knew it wasn’t a case of coming here and just playing immediately. I knew it wasn’t going to be like that, because there’s some very good players here who are all battling for positions. It was a case of just being patient and waiting for a chance.”

The black and whites’ move for Murphy, signed to compete with Aleksandar Mitrovic for a place in Benitez’s side, came as a surprise.

“It was all speculation, to be honest,” said Murphy. “I heard a few whispers here and there, but that always happens in football, so I took no notice of it.

“Leading up towards the window closing, it started to heat up a bit, so I soon as I knew there was interest it was an easy decision.”

Murphy – who spent five years with Sunderland earlier in his career – is confident he can repay Benitez’s faith in him – thanks to the players around him.

Asked about his role at Newcastle, Murphy said: “We have different types of strikers in the team, and I’m probably seen more as a target man who can hold the ball up and get other people involved in the game.

“Mitro’s probably quite similar, and (Dwight) Gayle is a short, sharp, quick player. We all have different attributes, but I think that’s good because in this league the games come thick and fast and every week is different opposition.

“The manager has a bit of a headache in choosing his team.”

Murphy believes he can pass on valuable Championship experience to the club’s younger players. “I’ve been in this league quite a while, and it’s tough,” he said.

“You saw that against Wolves on Saturday (when Newcastle lost 2-0 in the Championship).

“You wouldn’t have expected us to get beaten at home, but that’s the league for you. It’s a case of not panicking. You need to just get a bit of momentum.

“It was important we won on Tuesday just to get that winning mentality back.”