Alex McLeish made a very public pitch for the managerial vacancy at Rangers yesterday as the Ibrox club earned a Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at home to Hamilton Accies or Dunfermline with a 2-1 win over Greenock Morton.
McLeish was at the Govan ground yesterday as part of Sky’s coverage of a fifth-round tie settled in favour of a Rangers side led by caretaker manager Graeme Murty through goals from Kenny Miller and Martyn Waghorn that followed an early opener by Morton’s Michael Tidser.
Speaking to the satellite broadcaster about the possibility of returning to the club where he won titles in 2003 and 2005 in the wake of Mark Warburton making way as Rangers manager on Friday evening, out-of-work McLeish made it plain he would struggle to refuse any offer.
“Listen, I’m a Rangers man so you have to keep that in consideration. When you get asked to come to a club like Rangers
then it’s for sure a hard decision to turn that down,” McLeish said, his last job a three-month stint with Egyptian Premier League Zamalek last year.
“If they come and they want to speak to me then I can only take it from there. I can’t come out and say I definitely want this job. I need to wait and see if Rangers would want me first.”
A relieved Murty admitted afterwards that he only discovered Rangers wanted him to step up to take the senior side from his role with the under-20s while at Scotstoun on Friday night watching the Glasgow Warriors rugby team.
“I took a phone call 15 minutes in asking me to please, come to Ibrox,” he said. “I did that and was asked if I would take the game and I don’t think you can turn that down. I was asked to take the team for the next period and until I am told otherwise.
“The last day or so has been a bit of a whirlwind. I stood on the sidelines and thoroughly enjoyed watching the team play. I wasn’t overly-satisfied at times but I don’t think any manager fully is. I am happy to get through.”
Murty revealed that since Friday he had attempted
to ring Warburton, who departed along with assistant David Weir and head of recruitment Frank McParland. “I wanted to thank him because he was on my interview panel and has been very open and inclusive,” the Ibrox caretaker said. “He has been very welcoming. He hasn’t
taken my call as yet but I will definitely try to get in contact with him.”As with Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen and the winners of the Hibernian and Hearts replay were all handed home quarter-final draws, with Brendan Rodgers treble-chasing side at home to St Mirren, the Pittodrie men entertaining Partick Thistle and the victors of the capital clash facing Ayre United or Clyde in last eight ties to be played on the weekend of March 4/5.