Nottingham Forest supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their side get back on track in the Championship with victory on New Year’s Day.
Aitor Karanka’s men went into their encounter with league leaders Leeds United at the City Ground off the back of a 1-0 defeat at Millwall in their previous league clash, which left them winless in five of their six league matches during December. Yet the East Midlands giants began 2019 in style with an emphatic 4-2 victory over Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites on Tuesday, with a brace from Jack Colback as well as strikes from Daryl Murphy and Ben Osborn inspiring the hosts to a ninth Championship win of the campaign.
Thus, there have been many thrilled Forest fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are hoping for even more from their side as the season wears on given they were relatively busy overhauling the squad during the summer transfer window.
The club’s hierarchy were widely praised for the business they conducted during the close season, just like they were 18 months ago when they sealed a £2.07 million deal (as per Transfermarkt) for striker Murphy from Premier League outfit Newcastle United.
And with the 35-year-old having proven his worth upfront for Forest in times gone by, alongside the fact that Newcastle did well to get £2.07 million for a forward very much entering the twilight of his career, it’s fair to say that both clubs have benefited from Mark Warburton’s decision to lure him to the City Ground back in 2017.
Ultimately, Murphy only stayed one season at St James’ Park but he certainly played his part in helping Rafa Benitez’s men win promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, netting five goals in just 15 Championship matches as the Magpies won the title under the ex-Real Madrid and Chelsea manager.
Yet he was always likely to be something of an outcast in their top-flight campaign the season after despite helping Newcastle return to the top tier, eventually prompting Warburton and Forest to seal a deal for the ex-Ipswich Town striker in 2017 as they sought replacements for Britt Assombalonga, who made the move to Middlesbrough in the same window.
And it is certainly looking like £2.07 million well spent as Murphy has mustered 12 goals in just 42 appearances for the East Midlands giants in the last 18 months or so, seven of which coming in just 27 league appearances last term as the Reds eventually staggered to 17th place in the Championship.
And while he hasn’t always been a regular this time round, his three goals and three assists in 11 matches have proven vital in helping Karanka’s men to seventh place in the table, with his impact clear for all to see on Tuesday in netting once and laying on another in a man-of-the-match display against table-toppers Leeds at the City Ground.
That performance alone highlighted just why Warburton was right to lure the perennial Championship goal-scorer to the East Midlands in 2017, and for only £2.07 million, it is looking more and more like a bargain.
And while Newcastle themselves have struggled to solve their own striking woes, the answer simply wasn’t 35-year-old Murphy, who they certainly got the best out of in helping them win promotion back to the Premier League, and then earning £2.07 million for a year’s work – overall, both clubs have proven winners from Warburton’s decision to sign the forward.
Forest and Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!