GRAEME MURTY’S stock has risen and fallen in the eyes of the Rangers supporters over the course of the season.

If he wins a few games, he is the man. If he loses a few, then he isn’t.

I think they are still maybe 50-50 whether they want him to be in charge beyond the summer but all he can do is give himself the best possible chance of keeping the job.

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Since January, Rangers’ form has been far better and the players that Graeme brought in have made a real difference to the side. He deserves credit for both of those.

Very few people would have expected Rangers to challenge Celtic at the start of the season, especially when you look at the money that they have spent over the last couple of years and assess the respective squads.

All Rangers were looking for was to get that bit closer to them and try and give themselves something to build on so that they could eventually compete with them and overtake them.

When you consider the stupid points that we have dropped at Ibrox this season and consider everything that has gone on over the last few months, to be within six points at this stage is a decent effort from Rangers. Maybe the gap is not as wide as people are making out.

Nobody would have expected Rangers to be this close right now and Graeme has to take a lot of credit for what he has done to get us to within touching distance of Celtic.

But he will know that he would have an even better chance of getting the job if he can prove that he can beat Celtic and that is why Sunday, the Scottish Cup semi-final and the final Premiership game are so important for him.

What I would say, though, is that even if he was to lose all three I don’t think that means he can’t be the right man for the job.

He is building at Rangers and if he gets money in the summer, which I am sure whoever the manager is will do, then he can bring in more quality and the team will get stronger.

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There are a lot of supporters that will say they want a bigger name in charge but that doesn’t guarantee you anything in football.

Graeme has better tools than he did before the January window and the team look a better unit and look like they are playing for him. That is a credit to him as a manager.

I think the supporters will be happy with the style of football the team are playing right now, they are enjoying going to the games, and they are confident that this side has what it takes to compete and challenge for silverware.

Graeme has to be positive and he will go into every game against Celtic thinking that Rangers can win it. That has to be his mentality.

We know this is a huge game for Rangers but it is a huge game for Celtic as well and it could shape how the rest of the season unfolds.

If Celtic win, the league is finished. I have said that before and I will say it again.

But, if Rangers win it, it is game on. That is how important this 90 minutes is.

When was the last time we could say that about an Old Firm game in the league? It has been a long time.

Graeme has got Rangers into that situation and he has done really well. He was maybe a bit inconsistent at the start but since January there is a clear improvement in the team.

You are always being judged as Rangers manager and you know that every game is a must-win game. The Celtic fixture always stands out, though.

Sometimes you just need that wee bit of luck to make the difference and if Graeme can get that and start winning these matches then of course he is going to have a real chance of being in the dugout next season.

At this moment in time, I would say he is favourite. I don’t know who the board have in mind, if they are thinking that at all, but I would like to think that Graeme would be the favourite to get the job.

He has done exceptionally well in the second half of the season so far and hopefully he can keep that going on Sunday and beyond.