Chris Sutton believes Graeme Murty’s future as Rangers boss could be out of his hands but insists he can still make a big claim for the job with a strong finish to the season.
The Gers boss is out of contract at the end of the season after stepping up from the Under-20s following Pedro Caixinha’s sacking in October.
Murty looked to be the overwhelming favourite before back-to-back defeats against Celtic and Kilmarnock suddenly turned things on their head with fans now in favour of a different name taking over.
Sutton believes the Gers boss “needs a result” when his side take on Motherwell on Saturday in the Scottish Premiership but reminded Murty that finishing third in the Scottish Premiership would be an “absolute non-starter.”
“Before the Celtic game people were talking very positively about Murty staying on beyond the end of this season – as is typical in the Glasgow goldfish bowl,” Sutton said, as quoted by BT Sport.
“But now after two straight defeats against Celtic and Kilmarnock people are doubting his credentials and for his Rangers career, I think he needs a result on Saturday.
“Murty needs a strong end to the season for the Rangers fans and board to have faith in him for next season.
“His long-term future is maybe out of his own hands but he can still have a big say in his long-term future with a strong end to the season.
“Ultimately Rangers is a big club and it’s about results. Finishing second in the league means finishing last in Glasgow but to come third is an absolute non-starter.”
The Gers are ten points behind leaders Celtic in the Scottish Premiership table and could fall to third if Aberdeen win their game in hand over the Light Blues.
With clashes against their bitter rivals Celtic and Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen to come before the end of the season, Murty’s side’s destiny is still in their own hands.
Football Insider verdict:
Sutton is absolutely spot on with his assessment of Murty’s chances of landing the role long-term. If he can secure a comfortable second place in the league and lift the Scottish Cup then Murty will have as good a shot at the job as anyone but if he were to somehow finish third then there’s no doubt he’d be looking for a new job or back with the Under-20s. Without any other stand-out candidate to replace him though, it is a bit more difficult to see who is going to come in and take the Gers closer to Celtic without substantial investment.