Graeme Murty probably can’t believe he is in charge at Rangers. Temporarily, or otherwise. In the mists of time, it could be argued that the Gers hordes would have said the fact that a relative unknown would be in the Ibrox hotseat would have stretched credulity. In 2017, it is perhaps not so much of a shock to supporters.

Former Reading defender Murty had a relatively undistinguished career as a player, although in fairness he did manage more than 300 games for the Royals and was capped by Scotland four times. Although Murty was born in England, he qualified to play for Scotland through his father Eddie. He was brought to the club last summer by the now departed managerial regime headed by Mark Warburton and his role was described as a “development squad coach”.

Fast forward six months or so and there he was in the dugout in charge of Rangers as they edged past Greenock Morton in the William Hill Scottish Cup; tonight’s replay between Hamilton Academical and Dunfermline at New Douglas Park will determine who goes to Ibrox in the quarter-final. The teams drew 1-1 on Saturday at East End Park and then came out of the hat with a trip to Glasgow awaiting the winners.

In truth, Murty is highly unlikely to be handed the role he currently fulfils on a full-time basis; Alex McLeish is favourite for the job and the succession of big names said to be in the frame offer little chance of the caretaker custodian being named as Warburton’s replacement.

But, with a decision and subsequent appointment likely to be pondered for a while yet, it isn’t beyond reason that Murty will get the chance to boss his second game in charge of the first team when they travel to Dundee in a Scottish Premiership encounter at Dens Park on Sunday (February 19, KO 15.15). However, he may well have stepped down with the new man at the helm when Rangers go to Inverness Caledonian Thistle next Friday (February 24, KO 19.45).

Both league games are crucial and ‘must-wins’ if second spot is to be attained; the destination of the league title having been decided some time ago, apparently. The Lights Blues currently sit in third sport behind second-placed Aberdeen; both clubs are on 43 points though the Dons have played one fewer game.

Who knows, Murty’s time as the main man at Ibrox may well come. For the next few weeks, though, it would seem he is merely keeping the seat warm for a more experienced gaffer.

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