He may now be regarded by a majority of Rangers supporters as a lame duck manager but Graeme Murty does not accept his fate at the club beyond the summer is already sealed.
The 43-year-old might be accused of self-delusion by those who feel last Sunday’s spineless 4-0 capitulation to Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final made his position untenable.
But at the end of a turbulent week for the Ibrox club, in which senior players Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace were suspended for allegedly taking their discontent with Murty too far, the man still very much in the hot seat remains defiant in his belief he can take Rangers forward.
“At the moment, I still feel I have a lot to offer,” said Murty. He has not spoken with chairman Dave King since the Old Firm defeat but says other board members have been supportive ahead of the five post-split Premiership fixtures which begin at home to Hearts tomorrow.
“I have had conversations with a few of them, I’ve been for a coffee, a sit-down and a chat,” he added. “I also have the director of football [Mark Allen, pictured] in the office next door to me. They’re asking me if I’m okay, asking what I need and it’s greatly appreciated.
“I’ve been asked to take charge of this fantastic football club until the end of the season. That has not changed. If I thought it would become detrimental to the team for me to stay, then we’d have a different conversation.
“We have shown something with the way that the team has played recently, with the results we’ve managed to get and the position we’ve managed to get to in the league.
“I was brought in under the remit to stabilise and start to move forward – and leave the team in a better place than which I inherited it in. I still believe I can do that.
“We have to do what’s right for the football club, the football club is bigger than any one person. I am an employee of the football club. I also love this place. I want to see this place do well. I want to see us continue to improve and get better.
“While I feel I can still do that, then I’ll put myself forward. If that means I’m the person getting the flak then, hey, I’ve got broad shoulders. It’s not nice but it’s part of the job.
“What am I going to do, hide under a rock? No, I won’t. Listen, I’ve walked around Glasgow when we’ve done really well and people have been patting me on the back.
“We have to take the good times and the bad times. You have to be man enough to front up to it. People in the street have been reasonably supportive this week.
“I believe that we hit a significant speed bump last Sunday. That’s going to be a headline now, isn’t it? But the fact is we’ve had four games with Celtic since I’ve been in charge. The last game is the only one when we didn’t lay a glove on them and haven’t competed. In the three games that we did, there was a formula, an intensity and a work-rate about us that caused Celtic problems. So I’m confident this team can, on any given day, compete with the best in the country. I still believe that. I will never stop believing that.
“We didn’t last week and it’s still raw. It’s absolutely burning me up. But the way to get past it, I’ve always found, is to get out there and smash it as hard as you can and get ready for the next game.”
In the event he is replaced as manager at the end of the season, Murty says the option to return to his previous role in charge of the under-20s remains on the table.
“That will be an ongoing discussion between me and whoever makes the decision on the next appointment of a manager,” he added. “We will see how I feel at the end.
“Do I feel I’ve done enough to be kept on [as manager]? I don’t know yet. You’ll have to ask the club. I’m going to give you the same boring answer I give you every time you ask that question. It’s not down to me but, listen, we’ve still got it in our own hands to finish second in the league. This team has the talent and the capacity to finish second and that belief will not change.
“The players have regained focus on what we have to do for Sunday. It would have been really, really easy to let things outside of our control and outside of our gates dominate and they haven’t. They have focused on the training. They have trained really well. That leads me to believe they have got their minds set on putting in a performance on Sunday, which is all I need to see.”