Daryl Murphy was a refreshing change for Newcastle United this past season.
Despite only getting seven Championship starts (and eight appearances off the bench) there was no complaining and pretty much every time he got a chance, the striker delivered.
Despite only starting the seven league games, Daryl Murphy delivered five goals and one assist, with vital goals in victories over Rotherham, Huddersfield and Brentford amongst those strikes.
Arriving as a 33 year old, the former Ipswich forward was never going to be a long-term answer for Newcastle up front but he did the job he was brought in for.
In the squad to cover injuries, Daryl Murphy can count himself very unlucky that at times he came in and did well, only to return to the bench or even drop out of the matchday 18 altogether. If he had been first choice last season, even with the injuries he had I reckon he would have definitely topped 20 goals for Newcastle.
Away with Ireland at the minute on international duty, Daryl Murphy has featured in the defeat against Mexico in New Jersey and a home victory over Uruguay, those friendlies in preparation for the vital World Cup qualifier against Austria in Dublin on Sunday afternoon.
Breaking off from preparations for that match, Murphy has revealed that whilst away on international duty he has spoken to Rafa Benitez, with the Newcastle boss having clarified what the striker’s position is.
“Rafa is a top, top manager. He texted me after the Uruguay game to say well done.
“I spoke to him last week about my future and he thanked me for what I had done and said they were going to listen to a few offers. I said ‘that’s fine’.
“I always knew I had been brought in there to do a specific job, to help the club get promoted. I had no illusions that I was going to be starting for Newcastle in the Premier League if we got up.
“I have got another year left on my contract and I will go back there for pre-season and just look at my options.
“Last season was good, though. Rafa managed everything very well.
“We had a lot of big name players and maybe if it had been another manager he wouldn’t have got the best out of them as there would have been players sulking.
“But he used every player in the squad at the right time so everybody was fighting for a place.
“When the other strikers got injured, I knew I had to produce the goods for him, and I did, getting three goals in three games.
“We got some good results. I didn’t start many games – just seven in the league, nine in all competitions.
“But I scored six times and felt I deserved my medal whereas before, when I was at Celtic, we won the Cup but I barely featured and didn’t take a medal then because I had not earned it.
“This time I played my part.
“And I have Rafa to thank for that. To work with him, you see at first-hand how good he is and realise why he has such a superb CV.
“His attention to detail, everything is spot-on. He wants to know everything that is going on at the club. He makes time for everyone.”