Newcastle United striker Daryl Murphy says that it is pretty much a year round playing and training regime for many football players these days.
The 34 year old played for the Republic of Ireland in a 3-1 defeat against Mexico on Thursday night and is hoping to be included later today when the Irish host Uruguay in another friendly. This all leading up to a crucial World Cup qualifier in seven days time against Austria.
Only three weeks after that qualifier, Newcastle’s players report back (3 June) for pre-season training.
After the Championship title was won on Sunday 7 May, Daryl Murphy says he had a week off but that ‘you can’t really take a rest at this level’.
The striker saying that he had a ‘few days break but was back into it then’, believing ‘it was a matter of keeping ready’.
Daryl Murphy speaking to independent.ie:
“The Championship players finished up early so we needed to work on our fitness and the Mexico game was a good exercise from that point of view.
“In my case I kept ticking away after the club season ended.
“I had a week off but you can’t really take a rest at this level, so I had the few days break but was back into it then, training in Fota Island and then the training and match in the US. It was a matter of keeping ready.
“Obviously we will need to play better against Austria than we did against Mexico the other night, but we have time now to get back to work and get some training sessions in.
“We have other lads from the squad to come back in so we will be ready.
“The lads coming in now, the lads who missed the Mexico match, bring a lot of experience with them. Uruguay is a tough game for us but we are at home and we have big players back in the squad.
“The Mexico game was all about fitness. We are disappointed about the result as we wanted to go and win it but it’s all gearing up for the big one next Sunday, Austria.
“The manager was disappointed on Friday as no one wants to lose a game, the players don’t want to be losing 3-1, but we take it on the chin and go again.
“I know Shane Long is out but I am not sure what role the manager sees for me. He has other players who can do well. I have to try and stay sharp over the next week.”
Daryl Murphy now moves on with the rest of the squad to prepare for a friendly against Uruguay, who the Republic play at home later today (Sunday).
Martin O’Neill revealed earlier this week that the Newcastle keeper wasn’t travelling to New Jersey for last night’s match, having suffered a reaction to the knee injury that kept him out of first team action for over a year.
Elliot stayed in Ireland for treatment and we await to see whether the keeper will be available today and stay with the squad, or whether he will come back to Tyneside for treatment.
These two friendly games are a build-up to a crucial World Cup qualifier at home to Austria on Sunday 11 June. Martin O’Neill’s team currently level on points at the top of the group with Serbia.