Lee McCulloch has admitted that he feels sorry for Graeme Murty, suggesting that talk of the Rangers caretaker getting the job at Ibrox on a full-time basis has not helped him recently, the Daily Record reports.
Murty is currently enjoying his second spell as caretaker boss, having stepped into the breach when Pedro Caixinha was dismissed last month. But after a very bright start, things have not exactly gone to plan for the 43-year-old.
After winning his first two games - scoring six and conceding just one in the process - Murty has overseen two defeats in a row, with Hamilton coming to Ibrox and winning 2-0 before Dundee lifted themselves off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership with a 2-1 win over the Gers.
But McCulloch has praised Murty, and suggested that he probably has not been helped by the fact that some started to talk about him as a potential candidate to get the job permanently after the back to back wins.
“I feel sorry for Graeme who is a top coach. He did well the first time around and has done well this time too because he is dealing with a squad which is low on confidence," he said, as reported by the Daily Record. “The results haven’t gone his way recently but I know he will be in every day trying to get the best out the players.
“At the start when he went to Hearts in his first game it was all about the players and then the spotlight turned on him getting the job full-time and maybe that didn’t help him."
It would certainly be a major surprise if Rangers did appoint Murty right now given that his spell in charge has been mixed - unless any appointment was made with the idea that they would review the situation in the summer with the intention of potentially landing a marquee target who may not be available right now.
If Murty is given that chance - and there is no official reason to suspect that the Light Blues hierarchy will give him until the end of the campaign - he could perhaps bring himself back into contention, but would surely need a near-flawless run until the end of the season to convince some of his doubters, you would imagine.