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Murray weighs in with support for much-maligned Frenchman

Christian Nade began this season as the butt of the jokes, many referring to the size of his behind.

The Frenchman had arrived at Raith Rovers as a hulking striker but has since proven to be an energetic, mobile presence in attack. Indeed the only thing which might slow him down is the hefty praise which has been heaped on him by manager Grant Murray.

The striker is not used to being spoken of in glowing terms in Scottish football, a consequence of largely underwhelming spells at Hearts - the club which Raith will face in Kirkcaldy tomorrow - and then Dundee. His form this season includes a goal against Dumbarton, though, and his performances have lit up Raith's early matches.

Nade was often looked upon dimly at Tynecastle and he will be given the opportunity to answer his critics when the Edinburgh side alight at Stark's Park in the league tomorrow. "Sometimes fate throws up things like that," said Murray, when asked about a striker who will also face Dundee in the Scottish League Cup on Tuesday.

"Christian has been absolutely fantastic for us, we know the capabilities he has got and the level of football he has played at. I know the standard he is looking to get back to and he has been great to work with since coming in. He has given us goals, which I thought he would give us, and is a wonderful asset to the squad. It's not right for me to talk about what happened with Christian at Hearts or Dundee, but I will say that we are delighted he is at Raith Rovers."

The Frenchman will come up against some unfamiliar faces when he takes on Hearts, not least Adam Eckersley. The former Manchester United youngster has arrived at Tynecastle on a contract until the end of the campaign and is expected to compete with Kevin McHattie for the left-back position.

"He's got experience, a good grounding and is a great character," said Robbie Neilson, the Hearts head coach of a player who was most recently with Aarhus in Denmark. "We watched a lot of him on video and spoke to various people and got good reports. He's impressed in the time he's spent with us."

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