Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka has given his backing to veteran striker Daryl Murphy.
Murphy signed from Newcastle United last summer for £2 million but failed to make an impression in his first season at the City Ground.
He scored seven times in 27 appearances, starting well, but did not score after November, meaning no goals under Karanka.
Forest have been busy in the transfer market this summer, making eight signings already including Algerian forward Hillal Soudani.
He said he has been impressed with Murphy early on in pre-season.
Murphy said: "It was a tough season last season for Daryl. So far he has been training really, really well and he looks confident; he looks strong – although he has always been strong.
"I was really pleased, because he is doing really well and he is a player who can help us a lot."
Karanka's comments will at least keep Murphy motivated and lift his spirits at a time when he may have been questioning his future at the club.
There is no harm from Forest's perspective in keeping the striker around and then making a decision in January if either player or club are not happy with his role.