Rangers legend Derek Johnstone believes the Ibrox board must have a manager in place as early as possible to avoid an early disaster – like this season’s European knockout by Progres Niederkorn.

Manager Graeme Murty’s contract is up at the end of the season and it is unclear if the former Scotland international will be given the chance to continue the work he started after taking over from Pedro Caixinha.

Johnstone believes the Gers must have the bulk of their summer signings – as well as a manager – in place and given as much time as possible to settle before the club kicks off heir campaign.

“When Rangers report back for pre-season training, the bulk of the squad must be in place and the new signings must be given as much time as possible to settle in,” Johnstone said, as quoted by the Evening Times.

“The carry-on with Derek McInnes set them back big time, I don’t think there is any doubt about that, and we now find ourselves in a congested timeframe again.

“We really can’t afford any mistakes. Whoever is manager must get as much time and money as possible.

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“I know these are tough decisions for the board, but that is why they are in there in the first place and they will rise or fall by the calls that they make.”

Murty took over as manager in October on an interim basis before being appointed until the end of the season on December 22nd.

The former Scotland international joined the Gers in August 2016 from Norwich City as Under-20s head coach and had a brief stint in charge last season following Mark Warburton’s resignation.

The Gers are currently ten points behind bitter rivals Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Football Insider verdict:

The Gers need to make a decision sooner rather than later and let Murty – or whoever replaces him – get on with the task of building a squad capable of challenging Celtic for the title. With an Old Firm Scottish Cup semi-final rapidly approaching, the Gers board may feel their hands are tied to a certain extent when it comes to bringing in a new manager immediately. Whoever is in charge, needs to be in place and have their own players in well before the competitive action gets underway.

In other Rangers news, Ally McCoist has made a major claim over a Gers manager decision that could be made within two weeks.

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