Raith Rovers: Murray presses point in pre-season

Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray has promised a high-pressing style of play as he gets his players ready for the new season.

By Paul McCabe
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 9:34 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 9:42 am
Ian Murray looks  on at a pre-season session. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Ian Murray looks on at a pre-season session. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

The Stark’s Park boss is putting the squad through their paces in a gruelling pre-season schedule to get them in shape to play his brand of football.

Murray says he hopeful that the players will take his ideas on board as they adapt to life under a new regime, following the departure of John McGlynn.

"Every manager has their different ways of doing things,” Murray told the FFP.

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“John built a really good side and played good football.

“They probably lacked scoring enough goals to be really challenging for the league title, but that's the hardest part of football. There's no magic wand unfortunately.

“I like to play a high press with high intensity, but to do that we have to get the guys fit first.

“If they're not fit we can't play that way.

“We need to add just five or six per cent to the players in all aspects of their game.

“The boys are getting into the swing of pre-season now.

“We're a wee bit deeper into the schedule so we'll keep going, get everybody fit and the biggest thing is making sure we don't get any injuries.

“It's difficult for the guys, they're adapting to a new management team.

“The trepidation of pre-season is bad enough for footballers, never mind a change of scenery in terms of manager, but sometimes that can breathe new life into some who haven't quite yet hit the heights that they'd hoped for.

“Hopefully there will be plenty of positives. We need to get them up to speed to play the high press then after that it's just about fine tuning things a little bit.

“We have to make sure we're not wide open at the back.

"As much as we want to go forward there will be times we have to defend for our lives and we have to make sure the guys understand that.”

Murray says that his three new signings have fitted in seamlessly and though he is still looking to add to his squad, he doesn’t expect to conduct any new business this week.

"They’re doing well,” he said of the new players.

“Dylan Easton and Scott Brown have been training a bit longer than Ross Millen.

“Ross has had a few things to sort out at his end in terms of moving up the road again, but they're all fine.

“They're fit and looking good. It's just about trying to keep the guys going through pre-season.

“It's a long slog for everybody, not the nicest time of year, but we know at the end of it we get the excitement of the League Cup and the league campaign starting, so that's our main goal.

“We're always on the lookout for new players, of course we are, but we're not a high end Premiership club.

“We have to be careful with what we get in. We have to do our homework and get the right player for the right position.

“There's not much room for error anywhere.

“But we're just like any other club, we're looking around and we're getting offered players all the time, but we have to do our due diligence and make sure it fits our profile.

Recruitment is the biggest thing in football really. We have to get it right and also we have to be fair to the guys who are already here.

“If they don't improve the squad then there's no point.

“We want to add to the squad, but it's a long transfer window.”

Murray will get his first look at his new team in action this weekend as they travel to East Lothian to face Dunbar United in a testimonial match for long-serving player Grant Thomson.

“It will be great for the players to get back into a game,” Murray says.

“It's a testimonial so we won't be looking too much into the scoreline or anything like that.

“Hopefully it'll be a good day and we get nice weather and that there's a decent crowd for Thomson’s testimonial.

“We'll go down there and treat it as we would in terms of a pre-season fixture and of course, if anybody's feeling anything before or during the game they'll come off.

“We're taking the full squad down there, it's not huge, but we'll have enough bodies to get ourselves over the line then reassess on Sunday and see how everyone is feeling.”