Ronan Murray has loved working under the ‘fresh’ management of Paolo Di Canio

RONAN Murray has loved working under the ‘fresh’ management of Paolo Di Canio at Swindon Town.

The diminutive striker – nicknamed ‘Rooney’ by Town team mates for his tenacious approach to the game – was always likely to prove a good match with the notoriously volatile Italian.

And so it has proved, with the Blues academy product – on loan at the Robins for the last five months – helping the former cult player at West Ham and Lazio win promotion from League Two and reach a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley during an impressive debut campaign in management.

At 20 years old, Irish-born Murray has now worked under three ‘big name’ bosses, with Roy Keane having handed him his professional debut at the start of last season and Paul Jewell giving him his first Championship start towards the end of that campaign.

“I can see similarities between Paolo and Roy Keane because of the passion they had as players,” said the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, who has scored four goals in 11 starts for Swindon.


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“Sometimes it’s phenomenal how much passion they do have and there are certainly similarities. They obviously have their own way of doing things and characteristics but they are quite similar.

“Paul (Jewell) has been manager at a few clubs and he knows the ropes, but Paolo has fresh ideas and got the lads going here after a bit of a rough start.

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“Everyone has bought into his way so far and everyone loves to play for him.”

Michael Chopra has scored 14 goals during his debut season at Portman Road, while Jason Scotland looks set to sign a new one-year deal after playing an important role. However, with Tamas Priskin having had his contract paid up and Nathan Ellington struggling to make an impact, Jewell will be hoping for more competition up front next season.

And Murray, who also impressed on loan at Torquay United last season, hopes that he has done enough to convince the Blues boss that he can fulfil that role. He said: “I reckon this is my first season as a regular in the Football League and I am in a team that has won promotion.

“I have learnt that you have to be professional in your preparation, especially if you have a game on Saturday and then Tuesday. You have to recover well and I have learnt how to do that too.

“You get thrown into a team and you are part of a team of people ranging in age from 19 to 32. It has been a great experience and I hope that will help me in the future. I met Sean McCarthy (Ipswich first team coach) at the Barnet game when he came to watch and it was good to see they are keeping an eye on me.

“I want to push myself as high up the leagues as I can – that is what every player wants to do.

“I will go back to Ipswich and see how it goes. Hopefully I will be in the team there from the start of the season and then see what happens.”

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