Nottingham Forest saw off bitter rivals Derby County on Monday evening thanks to Yohan Benalouane’s 74th-second goal at the City Ground.
Martin O’Neill’s side put in one hell of a shift in the win with several players coming in for acclaim after the win.
One such player was Daryl Murphy who rolled back the years to put on a virtuoso performance in as the lone striker in a 4-1-4-1 system.
The 35-year-old was a presence throughout and offered himself as an outlet during the entirety of the match.
You could argue he only started because of Lewis Grabban’s absence.
The striker missed the derby with the Rams as he has been struggling with a persistent Achilles problem.
This latest Grabban news is good for the former Republic of Ireland striker who will be grinning from ear to ear on the inside at the development.
Grabban’s absence will surely allow the veteran to remain in the side having worked under O’Neill with the Republic of Ireland; the two know how one another works.
Murphy needs to grab this chance, however, and he will need to play as well as he did against Derby week in and week out to cement his place.
Leo Bonatini will be breathing down his neck to be the focal point of the team, but the 35-year-old still has enough in him to start games.
Playing a fill 90 minutes three times a week could be a little beyond him, but he needs to understand that – and play his role accordingly.
The most senior of the Forest forward line, it is Murphy’s duty to offer up performances befitting of his role.
In doing that, he sets a precedent on how they operate in the lone striker position that others can learn from.
Grabban’s injury could well be a blessing in disguise for the powerful attacker as he looks to continue to showcase his talents despite being in the twilight of his career.