Mur­ray re­grets choice of words af­ter crit­i­cis­ing St Mir­ren fans

The Herald - Sport - - FOOTBALL - GRAEME MACPHER­SON

ST MIR­REN ap­pear to be stuck in the midst of their own per­sonal Ground­hog Day. All the things that went wrong for them in the first half of last sea­son are be­ing re­peated this year, ex­cept at a level lower than be­fore.

The echoes of the chaos that was Tommy Craig’s ill-fated and brief reign last sea­son are plain to see. An­other rel­a­tively in­ex­pe­ri­enced man­ager is in charge and re­sults are just as poor. As last year, St Mir­ren are head­ing into De­cem­ber with­out a home league win to their name. If St Mir­ren fans thought rel­e­ga­tion from the Premier­ship would at least bring about an up­turn in for­tunes, then life in the Cham­pi­onship has not been any kinder. The thought that a first ever sea­son in the third tier of Scot­tish foot­ball could well be on the cards next year must have crossed the minds of a few.

And now, al­most a year to the day af­ter Craig made a sim­i­lar mis­take, man­ager Ian Mur­ray has man­aged to up­set a sec­tion of the club’s sup­port with his post-match com­ments. In Craig’s case it was a re­fusal to of­fer any sop to the fans fol­low­ing a heavy de­feat by Hamil­ton. In Mur­ray’s case it is say­ing too much that has landed him in bother.

“Fans are en­ti­tled to their opin­ions but, with­out be­ing pa­tro­n­is­ing, I think I know a bit more about foot­ball than them,” he said fol­low­ing the 1-1 draw with Raith Rovers. That did not sit well with many St Mir­ren supporters.

Two days on and Mur­ray ven­tured an ex­pla­na­tion for his com­ments, if not an apol­ogy. There was frus­tra­tion on his part that the hardy trav­el­ling sup­port had cho­sen to fo­cus on an­other win­less out­ing and not more on Ste­vie Mal­lan’s late equaliser from a free­kick, but he ad­mit­ted it was an­other les­son learned in how to han­dle your­self as a man­ager.

“It’s one of those unique jobs where you make your mis­takes in pub­lic and pay for it af­ter,” he con­ceded. “I’m old enough and wise enough to know that what I said would get peo­ple’s backs up.

“Things were prob­a­bly taken out of con­text a lit­tle bit in terms of what was said. It grew arms and legs from what was meant.

“What we should have been fo­cus­ing on at the time, rather than not win­ning the game, was a fan­tas­tic equaliser by Ste­vie in the last minute.

“I re­gret my re­ac­tion im­me­di­ately af­ter the game in terms of hav­ing a go at the supporters. I should prob­a­bly have con­cen­trated more on the pos­i­tive side of our team get­ting the point we felt we de­served. So from that side, yes, I re­gret it. But I also felt the play­ers de­served more credit than they were get­ting.”

Mur­ray ad­mit­ted only re­sults will help mend his re­la­tion­ship with the supporters now and Satur­day’s Petro­fac Train­ing Cup semi-fi­nal against Rangers would be the ideal place to start.

“A win of any kind in a semi-fi­nal is huge. A win at Ibrox against Rangers in a semi-fi­nal is even big­ger. It’s un­usual to play a semi-fi­nal at a venue which is not neu­tral but that’s the way this cup works and it’s a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for us.”

GROUND­HOG DAY: St Mir­ren man­ager Ian Mur­ray took fans to task af­ter 1-1 draw away

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