Rangers will host Hamilton Academical in the quarter-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out saw the Accies see off the challenge of Dunfermline Athletic last night.
The Lights Blues take on Martin Canning’s outfit after the home side won 3-0 on spot-kicks in a replay at New Douglas Park to set up the tie, which will be played over the weekend of March 4 and 5.
Quite who will be at the helm of the Gers for that game remains to be seen, with yet more speculation doing the rounds as to exactly who will take over from the departed Mark Warburton.
Alex McLeish is said to head up the wanted list and the mention of Garry Monk, the Leeds United manager, has also raised some eyebrows. But a decision won’t be rushed, it can be perceived if you are to heed the comments of Ibrox managing director Stewart Robertson. He says the imminent appointment of a director of football should help stabilise the club and create much-needed continuity.
And Robertson adds that no one has yet been approached to fill the positions available (assistant manager David Weir and head of recruitment Frank McParland also left the club along with Warburton).
He has added that the way ahead is to appoint a director of football so that when and if a manager should leave the club the day-to-day management structure, such as recruitment, coaching and medical matters, won’t be impacted upon.
He said: “We want to be a modern football club, and we see that sometimes when managers leave a lot of the structure leaves with them. That is no use. You put a lot of time, a lot of investment and a lot of resource into developing that side of the business and you can’t have that changing every time a manager changes.
“The director of football gives you that continuity. They oversee the overall football department, all aspects of it, including the academy, performance and preparation, analysis and everything as well as the first team. It means that if a manager or a coach does leave, you are only replacing that one person and the club’s philosophy continues unbroken if you have that director of football in there.”
And the school of thought has support. Rangers are right to look to follow that policy, says Gordon Smith, who didn’t have the easiest of jobs as director of football during a 10-month stint during the Craig Whyte regime. Smith, a former Scottish FA chief executive, said that he has seen the policy work at continental clubs and that it is flourishing at Hearts.
He added: “We’ve been a bit reluctant in Scotland to apply it but you have some clubs now who are doing it, and Hearts are a good example. It’s working well there so I think that’s exactly what Rangers need to do to take the club forward in a very positive sense.”