In Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Preston North End, Daryl Murphy was given 15 minutes from the bench to turn Nottingham Forest’s fortunes around, replacing Jack Colback. WhoScored show he had two shots, one of which was on target while making an interception and winning an aerial duel, but he also failed to complete a pass from his three attempts at the City Ground.
Murphy made only three passes in 15 minutes of football against Preston and didn’t find a Nottingham Forest teammate with any of them. Such a statistic sums up the Reds’ performance on the day, although it’s good to see the veteran centre-forward getting more playing time and building up his fitness. Murphy will allow Lewis Grabban to be rested from time to time, so it’s vital that Karanka continues to bring him on in games whenever possible.
The defeat to Preston was costly, with Forest slipping outside the Championship playoff places. The Reds are now two points adrift of a top-six spot and have to wait until Monday to get their season back on track. Murphy is unlikely to start, but Karanka will be delighted to have him and Karim Ansarifard on the bench when his side are chasing a goal.
Prior to his injury, Murphy had contributed six goals in eight games in all competitions this season, so he’s no slouch for Forest despite his advancing age.