FORMER Rangers boss Ally McCoist has shot down suggestions Graeme Murty will be drinking in the last-chance saloon at Hampden on Sunday.
Murty stepped into the Ibrox breach when Pedro Caixinha was dismissed back in October but is still waiting to be told if he will be in charge next season.
His side’s erratic displays have led some to question whether Gers’ former under-20s coach is management material.
But Rangers favourite McCoist does not believe his chances of clinging on to the Light Blues hot seat will go up in smoke if his side again come up short against Celtic when they meet in Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final showdown.
“I don’t think the chairman Dave King will be saying he has to win the game or he’s not getting the job,” said McCoist.
“I think you have to take a step back and weigh everything up. Has there been an improvement in the team and the squad, a better level of player and more consistency? Yes.
“So there’s a lot of pluses – but the question is: Has the improvement been enough for the board for Graeme to get the job?
“Or do they believe someone else could come in and make a quicker improvement?
“This weekend is a must-win game as all Rangers games are – but I would say it is totally wrong to say this is Graeme’s last chance of getting the job.”
Former Rangers and Celtic defender Steven Pressley has accused King of heaping unnecessary pressure on Murty ahead of this weekend’s duel with Brendan Rodgers’ men.
The Ibrox chairman released a statement on Monday in which he praised the Gers boss for his handling of affairs since Caixinha was sacked.
But his 500-word address offered no guarantees that the 43-year-old former Reading defender will still be in the dug-out next season – with Pressley insisting it would only heap fresh “uncertainty” on him ahead of the biggest game of Rangers’ season.
However, McCoist sees it differently.
“If you read Dave’s statement, I don’t think there’s an awful lot wrong with it,” he said. “Maybe the timing will have surprised a lot of people.
“But from where I’m sitting, he hasn’t said who or who isn’t getting the job.
“He’s very aware of the fact that in most people’s opinion, Graeme has done a very good job so far and would certainly come into the running longer term to get the job.
“I think a lot of people have interpreted Dave as saying he isn’t getting the job – but I certainly haven’t taken that from reading the statement.
“He’s 100 per cent correct when says it is an unbelievably important appointment. Probably as important as it has been in many, many a year.
“But he didn’t say Graeme wasn’t getting the job.”
McCoist was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.