Must Graeme Murty win Scottish Cup to keep Rangers job?

A general view of Ibrox Stadium is seen ahead of the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Scotland and Georgia at Ibrox Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Glasgow Rangers boss Graeme Murty came in for a fair amount of criticism after Sunday's defeat at Ibrox.

Graeme Murty, Manager of Rangers reacts during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on March 11, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In the wake of Rangers' defeat to Celtic at the weekend there seemed to be plenty of criticism directed in Graeme Murty's direction as the Gers failed to end their wait for a win against their bitter rivals since their promotion back to the Scottish Premiership.

The frustration towards Murty may have simmered over the last few days, but the criticism was arguably valid as Brendan Rodgers took the game by the scruff of the neck when Celtic were reduced to 10 men by throwing Odsonne Edouard on, while Murty waited until five minutes after his side went 3-2 down to bring Jason Cummings on and get ready to throw the kitchen sink at their opponents.

Rangers imanager Graeme Murty is seen during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Aberdeen at Ibrox Stadium on January 24, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The defeat took much of the shine off Rangers' recent form and probably leaves significantly more fans questioning whether Murty should get the job long-term than there would have been before kick-off. 

Murty's contract as first-team boss expires at the end of the season - as reported by the Daily Mail - so he is running out of time to stake his claim to be given the job beyond the summer.

He has arguably shown enough that if he was given the job on a full-time basis, there would probably not be too many fans who felt that the club were making a glaring mistake, but the season probably needs to end on some kind of high for Murty to ensure that he keeps himself in the frame.

A general view of Ibrox Stadium is seen ahead of the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Scotland and Georgia at Ibrox Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The chances of a dramatic title race appear to be over and the five-point gap to Aberdeen arguably means that finishing second in the table would probably not be enough of an achievement to win his critics over. So perhaps the Scottish Cup provides Murty with the best platform to prove his suitability for the long-term role.

Rangers face Celtic in the semi-final next month so winning the trophy - Rangers' first since promotion to the top flight - would be a fantastic achievement and provide a tangible indication that the Gers are moving forward and are closing the gap to Celtic.

When Josh Windass and Daniel Candeias scored on Sunday, there was a sense that the tide may actually be turning gradually. And while it was not to be for Rangers on that day, you would not put it past Murty's men to finally end their run against the Hoops before the season concludes. 

But with Murty building expectations back up again, spirited performances against Celtic will no longer be enough for the fans if the results do not change. 

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