'It's very tough to switch off' - Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray on the demands of football management

Ian Murray has been revealing how he unwinds from the pressures of football management (Pic by Sammy Turner/SNS Group)Ian Murray has been revealing how he unwinds from the pressures of football management (Pic by Sammy Turner/SNS Group)
Ian Murray has been revealing how he unwinds from the pressures of football management (Pic by Sammy Turner/SNS Group)
Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray admits that the emotional toil of being a football manager can make it tough to escape its demands.

The Stark's Park gaffer, 41, who took over this summer after previous spells in the hotseat at Dumbarton, St Mirren and Airdrieonians, was speaking exclusively to the Fife Free Press.

"I don't think the physical side of it's too difficult for a manager," said Murray, whose side slipped to fifth place in the latest Scottish Championship standings after losing 2-0 at Dundee on Saturday (see pages 62 and 63 for match report and reaction).

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"You can work a six, seven, eight-hour day and things crop up that you have to be prepared for.

"It's more mental demands than anything else.

"It's very hard to switch off, especially on a Saturday night - good or bad - but that's the demands of the job.

"It's good if you've won and you've got a load of text messages, you're happy and you're going to enjoy it.

"But your thoughts immediately turn to the next game and you're checking, for example last week I checked on Dundee, wondered how they'd played and saw they'd made a great comeback so I was checking what they changed, when I was trying to enjoy your own win.

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"Before you know it you're back into Monday morning and it's gone.

"You don't get a lot of time to enjoy things that's for sure, but that's what keeps you going and that's what fuels the fire.

"It's a tough one to be too negative about though. If you look around Scotland, we are very fortunate to do a job which only has 42 SPFL managers in the country.

"Your career as a footballer is short and there is a time when you need a break, there's no question about that. I think all of us in football at some point in our careers have felt like a break or felt like it was too much for us.

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"But once you get that wee break, three weeks, four weeks, three months, whatever it is, you soon get the bug and you soon get that hunger back.

"But there's no doubt I think at times you do need a little bit of a sabbatical and a little bit of reflection time.

"Particularly if the job's going bad, like when I left St Mirren and a lot of people were saying this was a good thing for me and stuff like that.

"At the time it didn't feel like that because I had never really had it before.

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"But you learn to deal with these situations better and you understand what they were saying with a lttle bit more experience.

"And you're always dying to get back in. If you look at the likes of Jim Duffy who's back in at Clyde.

"No matter what age we are, we've all got that bug."

Hibs fab Murray said that his difficulty in switching off from his day job was illustrated perfectly last Tuesday night went he went to Easter Road to watch Hibs v Livingston.

Although it was his choice to go, he spent much of the evening observing the game trying to work out if there was anything the teams were doing which he could implement at Raith.

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When it comes to switching off from football, Murray said that he doesn't fall into the stereotypical football boss choice of many by playing golf.

"I don't do much to be honest," he said. "I do a bit of walking mainly.

"I like just to sit down the beach most of the time having a coffee or whatever."

One potential way to unwind for football fans will be watching live television coverage of the 2022 World Cup which starts this Sunday when hosts Qatar play Ecuador.

Murray, who can understand why officials from top flight Scottish clubs will be frustrated by the lack of matchday revenue over the next month, is tipping Argentina to win the cup.

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