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Simon Murray: I will keep scoring next term for Dundee United

Simon Murray: I will keep scoring next term for Dundee United

His first year as a full-time pro has ended in horrendous fashion but Simon Murray is determined to show he’s good enough to have a long career in high-level football.

And that means helping Dundee United bounce straight back to the Premiership in 12 months’ time.

Murray’s two goals at Inverness on Friday night were instrumental in giving the Tangerines an overdue victory.

And his aim is to be hitting the back of the net to help secure victories in the final two games of this nightmare campaign, against Partick tonight and Kilmarnock on Saturday.

If United can come out on top on what are now-meaningless fixtures, the 24-year-old believes they’ll have given an early indication they can recover from what’s been their worst season almost in living memory.

“Obviously, it’s been tough but I love it,” said the former Arbroath man.

“It’s not good when you’re getting beat and it’s not panned out like I hoped but I have enjoyed it.

“You’re coming in and doing something you love each day and I want that to continue.

“Obviously, the past week’s been disappointing. Getting relegated and then people talking about contracts and who was staying and who was going wasn’t easy.

“At least on Friday, getting a couple of goals was good for me.”

Murray looks certain to get that chance to keep scoring and is being kept on at Tannadice for next term, though he’s clarified reports he was told he’s definitely part of the plans in a meeting with chairman Stephen Thompson.

“I didn’t speak to him. He had a list of people he wanted to speak to but not me,” said Murray.

“For me, it’s a case of not being told I was free to go, so I’m getting on with things because I’m here next season.”

And the aim for that campaign is to get straight back up to the top flight.

“The Championship won’t be easy. There’s a lot of tough teams and tough places to go but it’s a challenge I’ll look forward to.”

Before all that, there’s the matter of this week’s closing games.

Murray insists whether, like him, it’s one of the players being kept on or one of those who’ll be going, the approach will be the same.

“It’s hard for the boy who’ll be leaving because they have families to look after and mortgages to pay but these games are a chance to sell themselves.

“For me, I want to win every game I play and I always want to be scoring goals, so these games matter.

“On Friday, there wasn’t any pressure on the result and there isn’t in these two games. When the confidence is low and you’re playing for something you get uptight, so I think that’s a help.

“Now there is nothing to lose, you just go out and enjoy it and try to win.”

Added to the list of reasons for doing well is the fact his next boss, Raymond McKinnon, is almost certain to be watching from the stands tonight.

Although a fellow Dundonian who’s also had experience in the junior ranks, Murray admits he doesn’t know too much about the manager-elect.

Having taken Raith Rovers to the play-offs this season, he does feel McKinnon has the credentials need for the job.

“I didn’t play against his team when he was manager of Lochee United and I don’t know him.

“We’re in the Championship now, so somebody who knows that league, somebody from Scotland or who’s worked in Scotland, would probably be best.

“He fits the bill but we’ve not been told anything yet.”

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Telegraph website. For more information, read about our new combined website.