I'm fighting to keep Rangers job off Steven Gerrard, vows Graeme Murty
Graeme Murty has refused to hand over the Rangers job to Steven Gerrard without a fight.
It is understood former Liverpool and England skipper Gerrard is the "frontrunner" to be named the new Gers manager this summer.
But current boss Murty - whose deal expires at the end of the season - put on a bullish display ahead of Sunday's Old Firm clash at Celtic Park as he vowed to battle on.
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The Hoops can wrap up seven-in-a-row league titles if they come out on top at Parkhead once again, but Murty believes victory over Brendan Rodgers' treble-chasers might just be enough to persuade Ibrox chiefs to given him a stay of execution.
He said: "I'm in the role currently. I love the role and will do everything I possibly can to keep it.
"I'll be fighting as hard as I can in these last four games to finish as high up the table as I possibly can.
"I think I've done a good job so far. We've gone from fourth to second with a squad that isn't mine, with a style of football that's starting to look like the style I want.
"And I am desperate for the opportunity to bring in my own players and put my real stamp on the team.
"The club knows I want this job. There has never been any doubt about that. I'm massively honoured to be sitting here. This is a stellar job. In my first appointment as a manager I could not have dreamt of anything like this and I'm desperate to keep hold of it.
"If I win the next four games, you never know. Why not? Go win the next four games, finish in Europe, finish high up and then I think I'll have fulfilled the remit given when I first came in to the letter - and I doubt quite honestly if there is anyone else who could have done it as good as I have for a first job."
News of Gerrard's possible arrival is another distraction Murty could do without as he tries to lift a bruised squad still hurting from their 4-0 pasting by Celtic at Hampden earlier this month.
But the former academy coach insists his side will not lie down so easily this time.
"All you guys (the media) are talking about Steven Gerrard and I get it," said Murty, who refused to confirm whether deals for Allan McGregor and Scott Arfield had been completed. "He's a fantastic name but our perspective needs to be really blinkered on what we've got to do.
"We've had some really good games against Celtic this season and it's about time we took some points off them.
"I don't have to do anything (to fire up the players). It's an Old Firm game, it's an opportunity to stop them winning the title at their place.
"We've got to go out with an aggressive mindset and make sure we can make it as uncomfortable as we possibly can.
"It's a hurt group. The players have been hurt about the things that have been said about them after the last game. They are desperate to put things right. That's great for me."
Belfast Telegraph Digital