Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray on ex-team-mate Nick Montgomery's Hibs sacking; play-off spying missions and Keith Watson/Dylan Corr fitness

Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray applauds fans after 2-1 win at Partick Thistle on Tuesday evening (Pic by Rob Casey/SNS Group)Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray applauds fans after 2-1 win at Partick Thistle on Tuesday evening (Pic by Rob Casey/SNS Group)
Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray applauds fans after 2-1 win at Partick Thistle on Tuesday evening (Pic by Rob Casey/SNS Group)
Ian Murray says it ‘wasn’t nice’ to see his former Scotland under-21 roommate Nick Montgomery sacked as Hibs manager after Sunday’s 4-0 home Scottish Premiership thumping by Aberdeen.

Raith Rovers boss Murray, 43 – who starred with Montgomery in the Scots’ under-21s 1-0 away win against Germany in September 2003 – went on to play 271 times for his Easter Road boyhood favourites and he has sympathy with his old mate Montgomery, who managed Australian outfit Central Coast Mariners before his fateful eight-month spell in Edinburgh.

"Obviously Hibs have had a disappointing season,” Murray told the Fife Free Press.

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"I don't know Nick brilliantly well but I used to play with him when we were younger and I shared a room with him incidentally.

Sacked Hibs boss Nick Montgomery is a former Scotland under-21 team-mate of Ian Murray (Pic by Mark Scates/SNS Group)Sacked Hibs boss Nick Montgomery is a former Scotland under-21 team-mate of Ian Murray (Pic by Mark Scates/SNS Group)
Sacked Hibs boss Nick Montgomery is a former Scotland under-21 team-mate of Ian Murray (Pic by Mark Scates/SNS Group)

"I had a chat with Nick when we played in Lewis Vaughan's recent testimonial.

"It's never nice to see anybody lose their job, particularly when it's a young manager who is in his first job in Britain, at a really good club and a big club where the expectations are pretty high and the pressure can be pretty high.

"Hibs have found themselves in the bottom six which is not where they want to be and they probably have spent quite a lot of money as well.

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"And it can happen to anybody. We saw it not that long ago with Hibs when they were relegated to the Championship and they certainly don't want to be in that position again so things need to improve, there's no question about that.”

Murray has been linked with the Hibs manager’s job after earning rave reviews steering Raith to a second place finish behind Dundee United in the Scottish Championship this season and he has been rated an 8/1 shot to replace Montgomery in the early betting.

When asked if Hibs boss was a job he would fancy in the future, Murray added: "I don't give it much thought if I'm being truthful.

"I've said it a few times now, I don't really have a career pathway.

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"Some people will disagree with that and some people will agree with it.

"I just think football's so up and down and topsy-turvy that it's such a dangerous game to play.

"I never thought I'd be an assistant manager in Norway for a couple of years, I never thought I'd go to Airdrie after that and then come to Raith Rovers.

"So it's a difficult one. There's no doubt big jobs are always going to tempt you and give you interest but it's not something I go to bed at night dreaming of and it's certainly not something I lose sleep over.”

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On Raith being linked with summer moves for outgoing Hibs defenders Lewis Stevenson and Paul Hanlon, Murray said: "Lewis and Paul are two brilliant professionals, as we touched on last week, who would enhance any Championship squad.

"I think there will be a lot of Championship and lower end Premier League teams in for those boys.

"They've had a tremendous career, good guys as well, you won't get any better professionalism than what they've done.

"I know last night (Hibs’ 3-0 home win over Motherwell) was their sort of swansong at Easter Road and it was fully deserved.”

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Murray was speaking ahead of preparing his Raith side for the Scottish Premiership play-off semi-final second leg at home to Partick Thistle tomorrow (Friday), with kick-off 7.45pm at Stark’s Park.

Raith lead 2-1 from the first leg at Firhill on Tuesday but have had fitness concerns over defensive pair Keith Watson and Dylan Corr.

Murray added: "Keith obviously came off in the first leg. It's not as bad as we thought so that's really good news. We'll give him every chance.

"He's desperate to play but we need to make sure he's OK.

"Dylan Corr is fine. He has trained fully, pretty much since last week, so he's ready to step in if need be.”

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