Malpas keen to remain in Raith post

Maurice Malpas, Raith Rovers Director of Football: Pic: Neil Hanna Photography

Maurice Malpas, Raith Rovers Director of Football: Pic: Neil Hanna Photography

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Maurice Malpas is keen to stay on as director of football at Raith Rovers, despite being caught by surprise by the sacking of manager Grant Murray.

Malpas, who was brought to the club in December, admitted he was disappointed to see Murray axed, but would like to be given the opportunity to work alongside the new manager.

“It’s always a difficult time when a manager leaves,” Malpas told the Press.

“There is a lot of emotion in football and there was a lot of personal grief on Monday.

“It’s a common thing in football but it doesn’t make it any easier.

“Nothing’s changed in terms of my role.

“The big disappointment is that I’m not working with Grant now.

“That was one of the reasons I came.

“I enjoyed working with Grant and, hopefully, he learned something from me.

“But that’s football – it’s not a nice part of football.

“It’s happened a few times in my career and I don’t like it. I didn’t like what happened last week, but you’ve got to get on with it.

“I’ve enjoyed the role here – it’s a completely different thing for me.

“I’ve enjoyed being slightly out of the firing line.

“But I’ve been quite lucky in that I’ve been able to take bits of training.

“I’m still involved in games, although I don’t go into the dug-out on a Saturday.

“The buzz is there, and the enthusiasm is there.

“My enthusiasm took a bit of a knock after the Hibs thing, but that’s back.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Grant and I’ve got to compliment him and Laurie on their hard work.

“If I’ve got a criticism, it’s that they just did too much – too many hours, and that was something I was trying to drum into them.

“There’s nothing set in stone but, as long as the club wants me, I’m happy to stay and keep on working away.

“If I can stay and help the new manager, great. If not, then I’ll go back to doing the dishes again.”

Malpas was in the Raith dug-out on Saturday, providing assistance to caretaker manager Laurie Ellis, but the 52-year-old insists he has not given any consideration to the manager’s job.

“I’ve not really thought about that,” he said. “I got a wee buzz from sitting in the dug-out again but it’s not something I’ve really thought about, to tell the truth.

“That’s the first time in a year I’ve been in a dug-out, so I was on my best behaviour!

“I never got into trouble with the referee or linesman, so I’m maybe learning.

“I was asked if I would give Laurie a hand, so I’ve just been sitting on his shoulder chirping away and, on Saturday, it was just a case of having someone else to bounce things off.”

Malpas was pleased with the team’s performance on Saturday after a run of poor form.

“A wee bit of credit goes to the players for the response they showed,” he said.

“They got criticism – and they deserved it after the previous performances.

“You can accept getting beaten in football if your work-rate and commitment is there, but that was missing in the last few games.

“Thankfully, it was back on Saturday and the players went home a bit chirpier.

“Now we can enjoy our close season and start again next season.”