Graeme Murty: ‘I have to be calm in the Hampden storm’

Rangers manager Graeme Murty. Picture: SNS/Bill Murray
Rangers manager Graeme Murty. Picture: SNS/Bill Murray
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Graeme Murty says he will not lose his cool at Hampden today – no matter what happens – because he insists there are certain standards a Rangers manager must keep.

Murty was in the South Stand watching Pedro Caixinha lose the plot in the Betfred Cup semi-final last October and then suffer the ignominy of being sent from the technical area as Rangers went on to lose to Motherwell.

It hastened the departure of the Portuguese coach and now Murty finds himself in a situation where a semi-final can determine his fate.

If he wins against Celtic today and goes on to win the Scottish Cup, the Ibrox board may feel compelled to give him the job permanently.

He said: “I was at Hampden for the Betfred Cup semi-final when Pedro was sent to the stand. It’s okay saying you need to control yourself, but it’s easier said than done.

“I had an incident last week where everything in me wanted to throw a proper strop and walk on to the pitch and tell the referee how wrong he was.

“But I believe you have to conduct yourself in a certain way to work for this football club, I really do.

“You have to act in a certain manner that is becoming of the station but it’s hard – let’s make no bones about it.

“It’s difficult but you just have to make sure you ultimately come back to what is best for the team and that’s hopefully for me to remain in control of myself so I can help them when they need me.”

If Rangers don’t win the cup this season it will be the longest they have gone without winning a major trophy, although they had to come back through the divisions after the financial meltdown of 2012.

Murty said: “It’s not something I want but it’s not something I can control. There has been a lot of time where we haven’t been in a situation where we can challenge.

“We’re getting closer to that situation. We are progressing. The things we’re doing behind the scenes and on the football pitch have shown demonstrably that we are closing the gap but the next step is to go and win a trophy.

“And this group of players, as far as I can see, are desperate to be the first to bring major silverware back to Ibrox.

“If we are going to continue our progression in closing the gap and getting back to where we want to be, then the next step is to win a game against Celtic and then go and win a trophy.

“I believe to win a trophy in this country, to win the league, you have to beat Celtic and we have to make sure we’re ready to go and take that next step.”

Murty has had to endure the distractions of chairman Dave King’s letter to shareholders and David Bates’ pre-contract with Hamburg in the build-up to today’s encounter. He has also been handed very public advice from all quarters, but he is only concentrating on what he can affect.

The returns of Ross McCrorie and Graham Dorrans have been timely and he is in a situation in which he 
has real options in terms of selection.

He said: “Ross is a very balanced young man. He doesn’t get too high or too low. He has been a positive influence in the changing room albeit he’s a young guy.

“He is a positive person to have around and I believe he made a difference when he came back last week. He’s a good one to have in the group, but he’s not the only one.

“There are lots of guys who have had a positive influence on the psyche of the group this week.

“I have decisions to make all over the pitch. Apart from David Bates and Ryan Jack, I have a fully fit squad. So I have decisions to make in terms of personnel and structure but those will be fully communicated to the players.

“I like to name the team the night before mainly because I want the guys that are not involved to get over their disappointment and bring positive energy to the changing room.

“I have been in the situation where the team is named an hour before kick-off and I have not been in it.

“Then, through no fault of your own, you’re in a bad place, you’re in a bad mood and you can’t bring anything positive to the group.

“I want to make sure when we go into the changing room everything is focused positively on getting the right result.

“I just want to say to the players, concentrate on what we do well and don’t worry about anything else that’s out of our control.

“If we do that then we can get through to the final.”