New Raith Rovers boss Murray set to trim squad size

Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray says he’s getting to grips with life in Kirkcaldy.

By Paul McCabe
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 9:00 am
Easton is welcomed to Stark's Park by manager Ian Murray.
Easton is welcomed to Stark's Park by manager Ian Murray.

The 41-year-old took over the vacant manager’s chair at Stark’s Park on May 24 and says, as in any profession, it takes a while to adjust to a new working environment.

“It's a funny time of year for managers and coaches and even more so when you walk into a new job,” he says.

“So I'm just finding my feet. there's obviously a lot of comings and goings at the moment with staff taking holidays.

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“We'll be sorting out our structure in the coming weeks and we're looking forward to the players returning for pre-season training this Saturday.”

Murray’s appointment after John McGlynn’s departure got a universal thumbs up from the Rovers faithful which Murray says he was grateful to receive.

“The club had a bit of negative publicity going on around the start of the year and it takes people time to recover from that; fans, players, staff, board members, everybody alike.

“My appointment seems to have been well received. It was a bit of a long process for Raith Rovers to identify who they wanted, but it's not that easy sometimes.

“It's not just going out and picking up a manager, there are a lot of complications involved, with myself I had the play-offs with Airdrie.

“But now the supporters are happy and Scott [Agnew, assistant manager] and I are happy and that's the most important thing.

“We wanted to come here. We were very keen once we had that approach from Raith Rovers to sort something out and it was very quickly done which was great for both sides.”

Having added Dylan Easton and Scott Brown to the playing staff, one of Murray’s next tasks is to cut down the size of his first team squad from last season’s 29, saying he prefers to work with a smaller group.

“I'm used to working with a smaller squad,” he says, “sometimes when you do that you can eradicate a few problems.

“Yes, there may be times when we look a little bit light within the squad, but that gives players opportunities.

“Sometimes without that you can't give guys a chance. The only way to find out about players is to give them an opportunity to go and play.

“It might be an alien position to them, sometimes it might be out of the blue, but that's how you blood them and that's how you see what you've got.

“I'm a huge believer that adversity can sometimes really bring out the best in people.

“I know covid was a terrible time for everybody. With Airdrie we went up to Peterhead with just 12 players, no defenders.

“We found out a lot about our players that day; who would do what, who would dig in, who would fight for us and who could play in what position.

“A smaller squad keeps it tighter. It might inflate a little bit over the next few weeks but by the time the league campaign takes off I'm hopeful we might be down by a couple in numbers.

“Nothing crazy, but just enough to streamline us a little bit and make us more compact in the dressing room.”