Daryl Murphy made the matchday squad for Nottingham Forest in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Ipswich Town. He was an unused substitute on the day but is close to making a long-awaited return after two months out through injury. Murphy was absent for most of September with a calf problem and then picked up a virus in October.
He’s back in the squad, however, and will provide Aitor Karanka with a much-needed alternate attacking option from the bench. Lewis Grabban has been outstanding in Murphy’s absence, notching his 13th and 14th goal against Ipswich, but the 35-year-old should get minutes this month as the fixtures pile up around Christmas.
The Reds’ next game isn’t until December 8 against Preston North End but they’ll go on to play five games in two weeks – Derby County (December 17), Queens Park Rangers (December 22), Norwich City (December 26), Millwall (December 29) and Leeds United (January 1, 2019).
Grabban surely can’t play in every upcoming game, so having Murphy on stand-by is important. Karim Ansarifard was signed to take the scoring burden off the 30-year-old, but he’s been given mere minutes from the bench. Murphy has contributed an impressive six goals in eight games this season despite his injury woes so he’s more than a useful player in the squad, even at 35.