'He could play as a striker': Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray hails returning midfield dynamo Sam Stanton

Raith Rovers gaffer Ian Murray reckons that midfield dynamo Sam Stanton – whose return from injury saw Rovers’ losing run end at five games as he helped the Kirkcaldy side to a 2-1 home win over Dundee United – also has the attributes to play up front.
Stanton is key man for Raith Rovers (Pic Mark Scates/SNS Group)Stanton is key man for Raith Rovers (Pic Mark Scates/SNS Group)
Stanton is key man for Raith Rovers (Pic Mark Scates/SNS Group)

"Sam's value was never in doubt for us,” Murray told the Fife Free Press. “I don't think he was at his best against United but I don't think anyone would have been after the couple of months out that he's had and you're going into such a big game.

"He lasted very well in the game, pretty much to the end, which I didn't really think he would. But he's had no issues fitness wise.

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"I think his influence on the squad is not just in the games that everybody sees. The training levels from Sam went up since he came back and I think that's probably the biggest indicator of what all the other players think of him.

"His movement when playing the number 10 role is really, really good. Again, it's not a position that Sam's played a lot in. He's only played there for about a year-and-a-half.

"It's not as if he's had a career in the number 10 role so it's a huge testament to Sam that he can go anywhere and play in that sort of midfield line.

"I actually think Sam could play as a striker, I honestly do. I know that sounds a bit bizarre and stuff because he's not a bustling centre-forward.

"But I think his movement and guile in the box is so good.

"I'm delighted that we won a game after Sam came back. Hopefully it isn't a coincidence but if Sam's in the team and we're winning then happy days."

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