The mere mention of Daryl Murphy is enough to bring some Nottingham Forest supporters out in a cold sweat, never mind the sight of him.

To some, he epitomises a brand of football that the Reds should be moving away from.

Namely, hit and hope.

He is an archetypal targetman, makes no apologies for that and is not about to change his ways.

At 36 years of age, he has forged a decent career out of filling that role.

Should he, though, form part of the present and future at the City Ground?

Well, he has another 12 months left on his contract.

In order for the answer to the question above to be ‘no’, terms are going to have to be torn up.

It is safe to assume, even with a busy summer approaching, that will not happen.

Murphy will be back for more in 2019-20.

Stop crying at the back and pull yourselves together!


(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Like it or not, Martin O’Neill still sees a role for a brute of a frontman in his plans at Forest.

There has been no admission that he will be going route one.

The Reds boss is, however, looking for someone to offer much sought-after ‘presence’ in the final third.

Lewis Grabban may have 17 goals to his name, Karim Ansarifard offered flashes of hope and suggestions that a new striker will be sought, but Murphy remains in the frame.

In an effort to explain that thinking, O’Neill has said in the Nottingham Post: “Pre-season is an excellent opportunity to get a pattern of play that you are used to.

“For example, when wide men have the ball, you want to have options. You want to look up and see people coming short to help you and it is great to know that there are players close to you.

“You also want to know that if you can beat your man and whip in a cross, that somebody will be coming in to try to attack it.

“It was great against Middlesbrough, we started off terrifically well, because we passed and passed; we probed. And in the end we were still thinking that we had to get a goal.

“For all our very fine play, I did not have a Daryl Murphy racing in, bursting through to try to head it in, or anything like that. You still wonder whether, with all your good play, can you get the goal?”



Given that Murphy only has six efforts to his name this season, it is not difficult to argue against him being the answer that Forest seek.

The Irishman is a favoured option of O’Neill and Roy Keane though.

Both men in the dugout have admitted as much in the past.

He should, however, be remaining very much a part of Plan B.

An impact substitute that can be thrown on in an hour of need to rough up opponents and provide an out ball when left chasing a game.

A regular starting role should now be beyond him.

That is no slight on a man who will be 37 by the time his contract with Forest comes to a close.

You do not score 100 competitive goals without having something about you.

Times change, though, and things move on.

The Reds are seemingly reluctant to complete that process just yet, so we all have to make do.

There are a few challenges to be faced yet – most of them in the air!

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