Murray settling into player-manager role

2712049 SSFF grant murray 'Grant Murray, new Manager of Raith Rovers - at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
2712049 SSFF grant murray 'Grant Murray, new Manager of Raith Rovers - at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

GRANT Murray has admitted that he is still adjusting to life as Raith Rovers’ player-manager.

The rookie boss secured a victory in his first official match in charge with a 4-2 Ramsdens Cup win over Highland League cup Wick on Saturday.

Murray played the full 90 minutes and confessed that both he and his first team coach Laurie Ellis will rely heavily on assistant Paul Smith as they settle into their dual roles.

“First and foremost getting the result was the main thing,” he said.

“But something I’ve realised is the different perspective you get depending on whether you are on the pitch, or on the sideline.

“It’s two completely different pictures you see, and the focus becomes different depending on whether you’re playing or not.

“If both myself and Laurie are on the pitch, first and foremost, we’re concentrating on our jobs as an individual player.

“Paul will be on the side all the time, and for myself and Laurie, that’s going to be vital – but we knew that from day one.

“When the board originally came to us it was said that having someone of Paul’s experience in managing and coaching would be key.

“It can only help myself and Laurie as none of us have any managerial experience coming into this.”

Murray is also adapting to being called ‘gaffer’ after spending the past three seasons as ‘Bert’ among his team mates.

“That’s something else you have to get used to,” he said. “I’ve shared a changing room with most of the players for the last three years.

“Out on the pitch it’s fast and furious so if the odd player calls you by your nickname it’s just something you have to deal with.”

Murray is now looking forward to his first home competitive home match as manager – a Scottish Communities League Cup tie against Berwick Rangers this Saturday.

A week later he will lead his team into the opening league game against Hamilton Accies at Stark’ Park.

Murray is happy with the squad he has assembled and has no immediate plans to approach his former manager John McGlynn for any Hearts loan signings.

He said: “I’ve got to be fair to the guys that are here, and John hasn’t played a competitive game yet so he’ll be in the same position.

“We feel as if we’ve built up a good competitive squad that we can start the season with.”