TICK TOCK

Count­down is on at Ibrox but Light Blues can’t rush Allen into huge de­ci­sion..

Evening Times - - SPORT - By CHRIS JACK

IT is a case of damned if they do, damned if they don’t for the Rangers board at the mo­ment. Their ac­tions must speak louder than their words, though.

Al­most three weeks have now passed since Pe­dro Caix­inha’s reign as boss came to an end. It was a mo­ment that should have sur­prised no­body in­side or out­side of Ibrox and, in truth, one that had been a long time com­ing.

On Fri­day evening, a state­ment con­firmed that the Gers board have yet to be­gin the in­ter­view process, while it was re­vealed that they are hold­ing off un­til the end of this week in an­tic­i­pa­tion of re­ceiv­ing fur­ther ap­pli­ca­tions for the po­si­tion.

The in­ter­na­tional break, the gap be­tween the win over Partick This­tle at Ibrox and the visit of Hamil­ton on Sat­ur­day, ap­peared to be the ob­vi­ous time for Rangers to make their move and ap­point Caix­inha’s suc­ces­sor.

But it is in­terim boss Graeme Murty that is in line to take charge against Ac­cies as the Light Blues look to fi­nally achieve what Caix­inha couldn’t and win three games on the spin.

The up­date that the club pro­vided the other day re­ceived a mixed re­sponse from sup­port­ers. For many, it raised more ques­tions than it an­swered.

In an ideal world, Rangers would have had their next man­ager in situ by now, he would have had a cou­ple of days to work with his squad and he would be pre­par­ing to re­ceive the kind of warm wel­come that Caix­inha did when he kicked off his ill-fated ten­ure with a 4-0 win over Mar­tin Can­ning’s side back in March. That isn’t the sit­u­a­tion that the Gers find them­selves in, how­ever.

The process to re­place Caix­inha shouldn’t have started the day he was sacked. A cou­ple of names could have been jot­ted down af­ter the de­feat to Pro­gres Niederkorn, while a few more could have been bandied about at board level al­most on a weekly ba­sis as the Por­tuguese stum­bled through the open­ing rounds of Premier­ship fix­tures.

And di­rec­tor of foot­ball Mark Allen would surely have had a pro­file, in terms of na­tion­al­ity, age and ex­pe­ri­ence, in mind when he was ap­pointed in June. He wasn’t around to play a part in the hir­ing of Caix­inha but he will have a key role to play this time.

If Rangers had made their move within days of Caix­inha be­ing sacked last month, it could have been said that all op­tions hadn’t been as­sessed and that due dili­gence hadn’t been fully com­pleted.

It is a fine line, in terms of pub­lic per­cep­tion, be­tween jump­ing in too soon and it look­ing like pro­ceed­ings are drag­ging on, though. That tip­ping point will ar­rive in the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture.

NOW Dave King and his board are be­ing ac­cused of dil­ly­dal­ly­ing on the mat­ter, of tak­ing more time than is needed. Once again, their foot­ball de­ci­sion mak­ing cre­den­tials are be­ing ques­tioned. It is only when the deal is done and the next man­ager is un­veiled that fans will be able to cast judg­ment on the search as a whole and whether it has been a suc­cess or a fail­ure.

With Murty con­tin­u­ing to im­press at the helm, there is no rush in a foot­ball sense for Rangers to name their man in the com­ing days but the dou­ble-header with Aberdeen is loom­ing large at the end of the month. So, too, is the An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing on Novem­ber 30.

King and his board will be fully aware of the cost fi­nan­cially and com­pet­i­tively of mak- ing a wrong call here and this is the first chance for Allen to make an im­pres­sion fol­low­ing his move from Manch­ester City.

There are no guar­an­tees of suc­cess who­ever Rangers ul­ti­mately go for but they need to be as sure as is rea­son­ably pos­si­ble that they have the best can­di­date avail­able to them.

If that takes a few more days, sup­port­ers won’t mind too much. As the search goes on, the ex­pec­ta­tion lev­els rise, though.

For Rangers’ sake, this one has to be the right one. The name is more im­por­tant than the tim­ing at Ibrox.

Rangers di­rec­tor of foot­ball Mark Allen will have a big say in who is handed the hot­seat at Ibrox, but the board should take time to de­cide

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