'He's been our top man': Sam Stanton's absence through injury bemoaned by his Raith Rovers team-mate Euan Murray

The considerable value of midfield dynamo Sam Stanton to Raith Rovers’ success is illustrated by the ex-Hibernian’s ace’s recent injury absence coinciding with the Kirkcaldy team losing each of their last five matches, having made a brilliant start to the season with him in the team.
Sam Stanton limps out of 4-4 draw v Ayr United (Pic Mark Scates/SNS Group)Sam Stanton limps out of 4-4 draw v Ayr United (Pic Mark Scates/SNS Group)
Sam Stanton limps out of 4-4 draw v Ayr United (Pic Mark Scates/SNS Group)

The 29-year-old, who joined Raith in December 2021 after leaving League of Ireland outfit Dundalk, scored six goals and made nine assists in Raith's storming opening to the campaign. But he hasn’t featured since limping out of the 4-4 home league draw with Ayr United on December 22 after just 36 minutes with a knee injury.

"Stants is a big miss in general," Rovers defender Euan Murray told the Fife Free Press. "He's been arguably our top man. He's somebody who, coming into the club, I think he's one of those players that you don't appreciate how good he is until you actually play with him.

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"Everything seems so effortless I would say and he has had a standout season.

Raith Rovers defender Euan Murray (Pic by Tony Fimister)Raith Rovers defender Euan Murray (Pic by Tony Fimister)
Raith Rovers defender Euan Murray (Pic by Tony Fimister)

"He would be a big miss to any team in this league I would say.

"But I still believe that the squad we have is so impprtant in terms of the strength and depth.

"I feel that even with Stants going out or if any of the players have gone out, we still should have enough quality to win games.

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"I wouldn't put the bad run down to just that but is it a factor? Probably, yes, but we should still have enough to win games at this level.”

Asked why he joined Raith last summer, Murray added: “You don't win a lot in your career but when you do you are so hungry to try and have that same feeling again.

"That was a big reason for me coming back to Raith was to hopefully try and get that feeling again of winning something or being close to pushing a club in the right direction.”

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