Rangers ‘ahead of the curve’ says Alastair Johnston

Alastair Johnston says no emotion will be involved in making a decision over Graeme Murty's position. Picture: SNS.
Alastair Johnston says no emotion will be involved in making a decision over Graeme Murty's position. Picture: SNS.
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Rangers are ahead of the curve in their recovery despite the current disarray at Ibrox, according to director Alastair Johnston.

The Govan club were in the bottom tier of Scottish football in 2012 after their financial implosion and are now in their second season back in the Ladbrokes 
Premiership.

However, the chasm between second-placed Rangers and rivals Celtic was again highlighted in Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park, where a 4-0 thrashing extended the club’s winless run against Brendan Rodgers’ side to ten games.

To add to Rangers’ woes, club captain Lee Wallace and veteran striker Kenny Miller were suspended pending an investigation into claims of a heated exchange with Graeme Murty, who, after a second spell as caretaker, was in December given the manager’s job until the end of the season.

Johnston insists Murty’s position is currently being evaluated in an “objective” way but, asked about the club’s progress since coming back to the top flight in 2016, he said: “We are probably doing a little better than we would have imagined back in the dark days of running out at Brechin in the fourth tier.

“So you have to look back. The fans have been terrific, as I would have expected them to be, to hang in there and hopefully they will be rewarded.

“In terms of looking forward from where we were four or five years ago at the bottom, the progress that has been gradually made, we are probably ahead of the curve in reality if we finish second or third. Hopefully, the curve will be fast but it is still going to be gradual, it is not going to happen 
overnight.”

Rangers supporters, however, are still reeling from their side’s dismal performance at the weekend and they see Celtic on the cusp of their seventh successive league title and a Scottish Cup final win over Motherwell away from an unprecedented successive domestic treble.

It is widely believed there will be a new manager in place at Ibrox for next
 season.

However, USA-based Johnston, pictured, who joined the Rangers International Football Club board last June having been chairman of the club between 2009 and 2011, insists the board will take emotion out of their decision on the future of the club’s former under-20s coach.

He said: “We have had the discipline of saying that we will evaluate the situation at the end of the season and the reason that we chose that is that at any given time during the period of his tenure there has been a lot of support for him and sometimes there has been not so much support.

“We as a board have to take a very objective view and not be kind of swayed by the last result, whether it is positive or negative.

“Certainly the weekend wasn’t a good weekend for us. I was there.

“But, as I said, we have to be disciplined as a board and not be swayed by the emotions at any one game.

“We have to look at the big picture. We owe that to the club, that’s what we are in place to do.”