Vote of confidence for Raith manager Murray

The Raith board has given its backing to under fire manager Grant Murray. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
The Raith board has given its backing to under fire manager Grant Murray. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers’ board has given its support to manager Grant Murray in the wake of recent criticism from fans.

Murray’s position has come under scrutiny following a poor run of results in the league that has seen the club slip from third to seventh in the Championship table.

Eric Drysdale Raith Rovers

Eric Drysdale Raith Rovers

The board met Murray after the recent 5-1 home defeat to bottom club Livingston to outline its expectations going forward.

But in a week where three SPFL managers lost their jobs, Eric Drysdale (pictured), Rovers’ chief executive, told the Press the club is doing everything it can to support the current manager.

“The board is aware of some of the more vocal complaints and comments both on social media and at matches,” Mr Drysdale explained.

“But at the end of the day, we are charged with acting in the best interests of the club.

“The board considers that helping the manager and creating circumstances in which he has the best chance of achieving results to be the best course of action.

“We all accept, both the board and management team, that it’s a results-driven business and we’ve seen that with other clubs this week.

“But we as a board pride ourselves on giving our managers the best chance to succeed and that’s what we’re all about at the moment.”

The Press understands that Murray was not given any ultimatums during last week’s talks but. in backing the manager, Mr Drysdale stressed the club is expecting an improvement in results.

“There were no targets set but everbody recognises that some recent results – in particular the heavy defeats – have not been great,” he said.

“We’ll be looking to eliminate that and improve results going forward into the new year.”

Mr Drysdale refused to confirm whether the financial implication of sacking Murray - whose contract has a year-and-a-half remaining - was a factor.

“The manager has a contract - that is widely known - we offered and gave him that contract in good faith, and the contents of it will remain private,” he stated.

“Grant is a young manager who has done well in many respects.

“He’s had successes, especially in cup competitions, but there has been a deterioration in league results - both this and last season - and there is room for improvement.

“We are trying to support him as best we can within the financial constraints of a club of our size.”

In the meantime, Mr Drysdale has urged supporters to rally behind the team - and the manager - going forward.

“At Dumbarton on Saturday there was an improvement in performance, if not result, and a factor in that was undoubtedly the support from the stands,” he said.

“The away support was vocal and encouraging and it does make a difference.

“My own personal view is that players being booed in first minute by so called Raith fans is inexcuseable.

“We all want the team to succeed. I’ve supported the club for 40 years and I’ve always thought supporters were supposed to support.

“I’m not suggesting blind support - everyone is entitled to their views - but the board is doing what it can to support the manager and team to achieve results and I’m asking for the supporters to do the same.

“We have a difficult game on Saturday against a team with a budget at least ten times ours, and we’re asking the fans first of all to attend, and secondly to give encouragement throughout the match because it does make a difference.”

The Rovers board is due to meet again tonight (Thursday) with the appointment of a new chairman top of the agenda.