By support

2nd Dec, 2017 | 1:38pm

Derek Johnstone: This is where manager in running for Rangers job is likely to go

Derek Johnstone believes Graeme Murty’s involvement with Rangers’ first-team will prove “invaluable” to the Gers’ Academy hopefuls and has also claimed that the 43-year-old is most likely to return to his usual role as Under-20’s head coach once a new boss comes in.

Murty has had two spells in caretaker charge in 2017 and Johnstone believes this can only help Murty identify the improvements Rangers’ young players need to make if they are to step up and challenge for a place in the first-team squad.

Since taking charge of the Under-20’s in 2016, Ross McCrorie, Jamie Barjonas, Myles Beerman and Aidan Wilson have all stepped up to the first-team from Murty’s Academy squad and been handed their first-team debuts.

“Graeme will likely go back to Under-20s,” Johnstone said, as quoted by the Evening Times.

“He knows what it takes to play for Rangers at first team level and he can use that experience to help the young players make that step up.

“If he feels that any kid is ready to play for Rangers, he can then recommend them to the new manager and his insight will be invaluable going forward.

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“We want to see as many youngsters coming through the Academy as possible and having Graeme helping them on that journey can only be a good thing for the players and the club.”

Murty has taken charge of 12 games across his two spells in charge of the Ibrox first-team and, according to Johnstone, is expected to return to the Under-20’s after his 13th tomorrow against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

Murty is in the running for the permanent managers job according to SkyBet, who have the former Reading man priced as the 9/1 third favourite to take the vacancy.

A win for the Gers would see them overtake the Dons in second place in the Scottish Premiership – a week after staring at a possible 12-poit deficit to Derek McInnes’ side.

During his time with the Under-20’s, Murty has been involved in the club’s Academy Games programme as they take a season out from competing in the SPFL Development League in favour of a year-long series of home-and-away friendlies with elite youth sides from accross the UK and continental Europe.

In other Rangers news, Graeme Murty has claimed that his summer signing was a bargain buy.

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