Nottingham Forest striker Daryl Murphy thrilled to repay faith of Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill

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The Forest striker scored both goals against Moldova

Daryl Murphy and Callum O’Dowda reflected on a job half done as the Republic of Ireland kept their World Cup qualification hopes alive with a 2-0 victory over Moldova.

Murphy marked his 30th cap with his second and third goals for the Republic, who sit two points behind Group D leaders Serbia and one behind second-placed Wales.

A win in their final fixture in Cardiff should at least guarantee them a play-off but Nottingham Forest striker Murphy had not been underestimating the task in front of them in Dublin on Friday night.

He said: “It’s such a big game to score two goals and win 2-0. We kept a clean sheet, you can’t ask for any more, really.

“You always need an early goal and to start off well in a game of this magnitude. We knew what we needed to do, we needed to score early and see it out.

“We always knew that we needed to win this and we look forward to the next one. It’s massive, there’s everything on it, really. What we need to do now is rest and recover and make sure we’re all ready.”

Murphy has not often shown his best form in an Ireland jersey but was happy to reward Martin O’Neill’s faith in him with two early goals.

The Reds striker added: “I knew when the manager named the team and picked me, he’s put a lot of faith in me throughout the years I’ve been in the squad and I just thought I had to repay him.”

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