STRIKERS, and especially good ones, have a habit of hogging the spotlight.

Just as goalkeepers often have an air of eccentricity and most centre-halves a swarthy sensibility, those who exist to score and celebrate goals walk a fragile line of self-preservation. Score or be judged.

As such, almost any front man who tells you he is unconcerned by a barren streak is being economical with the truth. When starting at a new club, the pressure to put your name on a scoresheet is especially strong.

But for a nine-game wait in the Premier League for Sunderland, Daryl Murphy has rarely had to wait long to get himself going, scoring on his Ipswich debut against Middlesbrough in 2010 and second time out for Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United and Celtic.

It took four outings to get off the mark at Bolton but as the Irishman continues the march towards top shape with the rest of the Wanderers squad, he is confident there will be plenty more to come.

“It’s important to get that first one – I’m a bit frustrated with myself that I haven’t scored in previous games but looking back I haven’t had a lot of chances,” he told The Bolton News. “I wasn’t putting myself down too much because I knew they would come eventually.

“If you give me those chances, I’ll score goals, don’t worry about that. I’m still not 100 per cent fit but I’ll get there. It takes a while to get match fit but I am playing every game now and I’m getting that little bit of sharpness that I might have been lacking.”

If Murphy has an air of confidence, it is spreading through a Bolton camp which has now got the psychological lift of a first victory of the season and a target of getting into positive points as quickly as possible.

The league table remains off limits for the 36-year-old for now – although perhaps not for long.

“There’s no point looking at it at the moment is there,” he said. “We know what position we’re in and how far off it but that will give us a hell of a lot of confidence going into Saturday. It isn’t just the win it’s the individual performances, I thought we did really well.

“People quote all these statistics at you but you have to ignore them. When I first came here I said I saw this as a big challenge but it’s one you have got to embrace. You don’t want to be losing but that result could give us some momentum, you win Saturday and you really don’t know where it could take you. Get on a run in this league you start moving up.”

Even after scoring twice away from home for the first time since April 2017, Keith Hill has called for Wanderers to show a more ruthless streak at Sincil Bank tomorrow.

Ali Crawford had a night to forget in front of goal on Tuesday night, a fact Murphy was happy to remind his team-mate of after the game.

“I’ve let him know about the chances he missed… And the ones he didn’t pass to me,” he said.

“As a senior player I think you need to push lads like that. There’s no point in saying ‘unlucky’ you have to get on them and let him know he shouldn’t be missing those chances.

“I see him in training every day putting them away. He’s a good player who can put the ball in the top corner from outside the box, so chances like that I’m expecting him to finish them.

“I don’t mind being a bit harsh on him if he’s not scoring. Maybe it’ll drive him on to pass to me next time?”

Lincoln won their first three games in League One after promotion, topping the table briefly, but have been victorious in just two of their last 13 outings.

Michael Appleton’s side have also failed to score in their last three games, and though Wanderers go into the game as rank outsiders once again in the bookmakers’ eyes, belief within the dressing room is growing without any shadow of a doubt.

“It’s all about momentum,” Murphy said. “You need to put wins together, go on a run. We’ve waited for that win for so long – but it’s gone now. You can’t stand back and admire it. We need to move on to Saturday and Lincoln.

“There’s always a chance. We’ve played a few of the teams up there and got draws, maybe could have nicked wins, but I don’t think there’s anything to fear in this league. I really mean that.

“We have got players who will cope with anything in this league, it’s just confidence. You look at where we’ve been – a first win in how long? That’s the monkey off the back.

“We’re looking forward to it now. My job is to score goals and I’ve started that now.”