Former Rangers striker Derek Johnstone thinks Graeme Murty is “favourite” to take the reins at Ibrox next season after the way he has turned the Light Blues around since the winter break.

Murty’s side have won nine of their ten games since facing Celtic on December 30th and Johnstone thinks the former Under-20’s head coach must be in pole-position to replace Pedro Caixinha long-term.

The Gers go head-to-head with bitter rivals Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday in the Scottish Premiership and Johnstone thinks Murty has done “exceptionally well” for the Gers in the second-half of the campaign.

“You are always being judged as Rangers manager and you know that every game is a must-win game. The Celtic fixture always stands out, though,” Johnstone said, as quoted by the Evening Times.

“Sometimes you just need that wee bit of luck to make the difference and if Graeme can get that and start winning these matches then of course he is going to have a real chance of being in the dugout next season.

“At this moment in time, I would say he is favourite. I don’t know who the board have in mind, if they are thinking that at all, but I would like to think that Graeme would be the favourite to get the job.

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“He has done exceptionally well in the second half of the season so far and hopefully he can keep that going on Sunday and beyond.”

After a wobbly start to his second stint in interim charge following Caixinha’s sacking in October, Murty has looked much more consistent since being handed the reins until the end of the season on December 22nd.

After being written off by everyone earlier in the campaign with the Gers languishing in fourth-place in the Scottish Premiership, Murty has turned the Gers around and catching up with the defending champions.

Football Insider verdict:

Since the turn of the year there can be very little complaints about the results Murty has secured to help the Gers reel in Brendan Rodgers’ side at the top of the table. When Murty took over in October, there were Gers fans who though third could be a stretch for the Light Blues in the Scottish Premiership but the former Reading captain has done a brilliant job of getting his squad playing some good football. Whether or not the Gers go on to lift the title this season isn’t going to be what Murty’s future is decided on but, if he can keeep his side as close as they are there’s little reason why he won’t get the manager’s job long-term.

In other Rangers news, ‘Won’t know what’s hit you’ – Sutton predicts Rangers v Celtic, claims one team mentally weak

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