By Matt Bullin

Newcastle and Republic of Ireland striker Daryl Murphy has stated that his side “need to be better” in their next match v Preston.

The 34-year-old netted the Toon’s only goal in their 3-1 defeat at Ipswich on Monday.

Freddie Sears opened the scoring, before Murphy equalised against his former club on the hour mark.

However his efforts were in vain as David McGoldrick and Emyr Huws both netted to seal a fine three points for Preston.

It means Rafa Benitez’s side have won just twice in their last eight Championship matches, to slip seven points adrift of league leaders Brighton.

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Murphy missed much of the season with a calf injury, but has become a key player for the Toon in recent weeks with top scorer Dwight Gayle missing through injury.

Speaking in the Chronicle Live ahead of Monday night’s clash with Preston, Murphy was bullish about his side’s promotion chances.

He said: “We can’t do anything about what the other teams do. It’s in our own hands.

“We just know we need to win the games and take maximum points. We know if we pick up maximum points, we’re there.

The 23-time Republic of Ireland international was also honest in his assessment of Newcastle’s efforts v Ipswich, saying: “We just weren’t good enough all over the pitch. We need to be better than that.

“We just didn’t perform, we were nowhere near what we can be and what we should be. Everyone was very disappointed.”

Murphy has featured 13 times in the Championship for Newcastle this term and has scored five goals and provided one assist.

In other Newcastle news, Christian Atsu reveals Newcastle have this major weakness.

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