Simon Murray may be the next to pen deal at Dundee United

Dundee United's Simon Murray
Dundee United's Simon Murray

Simon Murray was delighted to see his good mate William Edjenguele pledge the next two years of his future to Dundee United this week.

And the striker will be even happier if he’s the next to put pen to paper as gaffer Ray McKinnon’s plans for next term come together.

The 24-year-old is one of a string of United men out of contract at the end of the season and, with interest from here and abroad, there’s been speculation he’ll be on the move.

He’s made clear, though, his preferred option is to be wearing tangerine for a long time to come.

“William’s been a very good player for us this season, so it’s definitely good we’ve got him signed up for the next couple of years,” said Murray.

“He’s a great lad, one of the boys I get on best with in the club and we hang around together out of hours as well. So I’m delighted for him he’s signed his new deal.

“I’m still speaking to the manager about my situation and, hopefully, we can get something sorted in the next couple of weeks.

“Maybe I can be the next one to join William in signing up for next season. I’m a Dundee boy and this is a great club for me to be at.”

Culminating in Friday’s defeat at the hands of Championship leaders Hibs, it’s been a difficult few months for the Tangerines but Murray is convinced they are a team heading in the right direction.

Starting with tonight’s trip to St Mirren, he’s focused on re-igniting the promotion bid and, looking further ahead, sees a bright future under McKinnon.

“I think the manager, this summer, will have time to get the squad the way he wants it. That’s a good thing.

“Last summer he only had six weeks to get people in but this time he will have had a full season to get the team playing the way he wants and will have time to bring people in. There are obviously ones he wants.

“There are a lot of boys out of contract this season and he will want to shape his own team.”

Looking specifically at the first of two clashes with St Mirren in less than a fortnight, he sees this as a rare occasion where a league game is more important than a cup final.

“This game is definitely more important than when we meet them in the Challenge Cup next week.

“But we want to win them both starting with this one. Then we’ll look to Raith Rovers on Saturday and after that we can think about the final.

“In the league, we need to get a result and nothing but a win will do if we want to have a chance of getting back challenging for the title.”

Despite games running out, he still believe Hibs can be caught and, even if that doesn’t happen, knows finishing no lower than second in the division could be crucial to the chances of a Premiership return.

“We were gutted about Friday because it was a real opportunity to catch Hibs.

“If we win this one, the gap is back to seven points and, if we keep winning, anything can happen.

“You never know and it’s important we give ourselves the best chance to catch them. That means winning.

“If it’s not enough, then you come second and it’s four games instead of six in the play-offs and that’s a lot of difference. Six games in that short period would tire you out, so we want to be back up there.

“If you are going to be in the play-offs, second’s the best place to finish.

“If you are second, you have those two games less but you also don’t have the wait of almost a month to play like the Premiership team does.”