Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon looks at a player whose Irish eyes are smiling more than ever

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Back in March, 2007 I interviewed a very likeable Irishman who was looking to lead Sunderland to the Premier League.

I headed up my Cardiff City programme piece as: ‘Irish eyes are smiling’.

But Daryl Murphy has surely never been more satisfied on the pitch than now.

Ahead of that trip to Ninian Park he was seen by Roy Keane as someone who was as adept wide left as up top.

He had scored six goals, but his four in their last six, en route to lifting the Championship title, indicated untapped potential.

His 10 from 38 league games was only the second time, ahead of this term, he had hit double figures in a league campaign.

There was a fear last February he might not be able to fill our leading marksman’s void, after David McGoldrick’s injury.

But he has certainly carried on where he left off in 13/14, and if he scores at surprise package Charlton Athletic on Saturday in the Sky-televised 12.15pm match, it will ensure his best league return with more than half of 14/15 to go. And Terry Connor, along with Murphy, deserves credit.

While McGoldrick has been working his way back, and hopefully not dreaming of a return to his Midlands home with Leicester, Murphy’s golden touch has seen him become the first Town player to hit double figures before Christmas since a certain Ray Crawford — who many Blues will have never seen in action.

A point in a 2-2 draw at an in-form AFC Bournemouth on Saturday, courtesy of another Murphy goal, made up (a bit) for the Nottingham Forrest late point disappointment.

A few more points on the road like that would leave more than just Murphy’s Irish eyes smiling...

* You can follow my live updates and views on the action from Charlton’s press box via the Live Sport section on our website, or via my Twitter feed (@russclaydon).