By Will Butcher

Mick McCarthy has described Newcastle striker Daryl Murphy as a “great servant” following his four-year stay with Monday’s opponents Ipswich Town.

Murphy, 34, scored 67 career goals in the blue of Ipswich, and could be in line to start up front against his old side with Dwight Gayle still out injured due to a hamstring injury.

Evening Chronicle reporter Lee Ryder posted on his personal Twitter account that McCarthy had described the Ireland striker as a “great servant” in the official matchday programme.

Murphy first went on loan to Portman Road in 2010 for six months from Premier League side Sunderland, before joining on loan in 2011-12 on a temporary basis from Celtic.

He then joined for a second season on loan before switching permanently to the Tractor Boys, where he then scored 50 goals in 119 starts and established himself as one of the most dangerous strikers in England’s second tier.

That prompted Rafa Benitez to move for the striker, but he has found game time few and far between due to the form of Gayle and competition from Aleksander Mitrovic on Tyneside.

Murphy has scored five goals in 15 games since making a £4million move to St. James’ Park.

Newcastle can edge closer to confirming an instant return to the Premier League with their 27th league win of the season, if they overcome McCarthy’s Ipswich on Monday.

However, the Toon must look to put their recent form behind them after only winning two of their last seven outings.

In other Newcastle news, Don Hutchison has called for a Toon win as they close in on promotion.

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