Euan Murray witnessed Southport boss Steve Burr being sacked just five days after he signed him so it’s fair to say the player is used to managerial upheaval.
However, even he was left stunned when his Raith gaffer Barry Smith resigned on Tuesday despite the fact the team have won their last two games and sit just behind League 1 leaders Arbroath on goal difference.
The 44-year-old former Dundee boss signed Murray in June, last year, with Smith rating the defender so highly, he named him as his Manager’s Player of the Season at the end of the last campaign.
That faith was a big factor in Murray deciding to sign another deal with Rovers in May despite the chance to move elsewhere in a higher division.
So Smith’s departure has hit him harder than most but the 24-year-old insists life goes on with an important Irn-Bru Cup tie to negotiate this afternoon against Championship pace-setters Ross County in Dingwall with assistant manager Kevin Cuthbert taking the team.
Murray said: “I was on my way home when I found out the gaffer had resigned. I stay down Ayrshire way and was actually still driving. One of the boys phoned me to tell me the news.
“It was a shock as we had only just finished training. It was strange and disappointing for everyone at the club, especially myself.
“The gaffer was brilliant with me and up there with the best managers I have ever worked with, but you move on.
“There is a line drawn under it and we are still together as a football club. The togetherness is there. The boys were all surprised but that’s football, the decision has been made.
“The boys were all in on Thursday, Cat (Cuthbert) has spoken to us all and the most important thing is we move forward. Everything else is out of our hands.
“The only thing we are focusing on is the game against Ross County. Cat is still here and the boys are 100 per cent behind him.”
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Murray added: “I’m not going to lie, Barry was a massive factor in me staying but I’m not a naive boy and I know how quickly things can change.
“I totally respect his decision and respect him as a man. I don’t think anyone would question my commitment to the club and I’m still looking forward to the rest of the season.
“The aim hasn’t changed – to get this club promoted – and, as I said when I re-signed, there were other factors in me staying and I love the club.
“I had a couple of brief texts with the gaffer to thank him for what he has done for me. He has been massive for me and I wanted to wish him all the best for going forward.
“I don’t have a bad word to say about the gaffer. I just let him be after that though, because I’m sure he is spending time with his family while his phone will be red-hot.”
While Smith’s departure took Murray by surprise, he revealed it is not the first time he has been taken aback by managerial manoeuvrings.
He added: “My manager at Southport (Burr) actually got sacked five days after signing me.
“He lasted one game. I thought I’d managed to get the guy the sack after a couple of days! You think to yourself, ‘I joined the club because you wanted me’ and then he is gone.
“Thankfully the next manager (Andy Preece) made me captain after a week, so it worked out not bad.”
Murray admitted that it is up to the likes of himself to help some of the younger players at Raith cope with the departure of their manager.
He said: “There are some good, experienced pros in the dressing room. Even myself, I’m getting a little older and have tried to help the younger players who have perhaps not experienced this.
“It can be unsettling for younger lads, but the thing we have here is a really good group and we stick together.
“That has been the case this week and Cat has left no stone unturned ahead of the County game.”