If Dundee had been playing host to Hibs this time last year, Simon Murray would’ve watched from the stand because he was on loan from the Hibees to the Dark Blues.
And he admits if you told him 12 months on his then-managers Neil McCann and Neil Lennon would not be in charge of the teams, he wouldn’t have believed you.
Now plying his trade in South Africa with title challengers Bidvest Wits, Murray left Scotland last summer thinking both men looked as secure in their jobs as any managers could be.
“When I was on loan at Dundee, by the end of last season I thought performances were coming on, even if we weren’t always getting results,” the Dundonian told the Tele on the line from his Johannesburg base.
“I really thought Neil McCann was building something at Dens and I expected them to have a good season this year.
“Likewise, Neil Lennon was flying at Hibs. They were riding high in the Premiership and were capable of taking points off everyone, including the Old Firm.
“I couldn’t see the gaffer going anywhere but both him and Neil McCann are gone now and it just shows how quickly things change in football.”
This weekend Murray will be involved in his biggest game of the South African season so far when Wits face second-place Mamelodi Sundowns in the Premier Soccer League.
It’s a game that could just decide the destination of the title but life-long Dee fan Murray will find the time to watch the action from Dens Park tonight.
“Over here I’ve managed to keep in touch with what’s happening back home and I can watch Dundee on the club TV or when their games are being shown live.
“I’ll be watching and it’s going to be interesting to see how they do and how Hibs are with their new manager (Paul Heckingbottom).
“I was worried about Dundee for a while but things have picked up with all the new players Jim McIntyre has signed.
“As a striker myself, I like the look of the boy Andrew Nelson up front. He’s scored a few goals and although as a fan I’m not complaining they did, I’m a bit surprised Sunderland let him go.”
Murray himself has been among the goals out in South Africa. He’s got seven to date in his debut season and is aiming to double that tally by the end of what could be a successful first campaign.
“The weekend is a big game because the Sundowns have a few games in hand but if we can beat them they will find it hard to catch us.
“They’re in the African Champions League and that means a lot of travelling, sometimes as far as places like Egypt and Tunisia.
“It means they leave after weekend games and don’t get back to the next Friday, so that can affect league form.
“We’re also still in the cup out here and I’m just back from an eight-hour bus journey because we were playing Black Leopards up near the Zimbabwe border.
“For most away games we fly but there’s no airport there and we went up last week only for the rains to come down like you’ve never seen before.
“The game was off and we had to come all the way back and then do it again this week.”
That apart, he’s loving his time in the southern hemisphere and is looking forward to some big events on and off the pitch.
“Like I say, we are still in the running for the league and the cup so there’s a lot to play for between now and May.
“More than that, my girlfriend Casey is out here with me and we’re expecting our first baby in five weeks time. We’re very excited about that.”