IT is the 90 minutes that will make or break Rangers’ campaign. And, it seems, Graeme Murty’s Ibrox ambitions.

Victory over Celtic this weekend would put the Light Blues within touching distance of major silverware once again and give their manager a chance of remaining at the helm.

But the consequences of defeat are severe for both. Not only would a Hampden heartache give the Gers’ Old Firm rivals a chance to claim successive Trebles, but it would surely all-but end Murty’s hopes of being boss beyond the summer.

The targets were clear when he was handed a contract until the end of the campaign. Second place in the Premiership had to be secured, and the Scottish Cup had to be won. Both of those goals can still be achieved. For the sake of Rangers and Murty, that must still be the case come Sunday evening.

But former Light Blues boss Ally McCoist believes it would be wrong to judge Murty on just one afternoon of Old Firm drama. The derby snapshot could overshadow the bigger picture.

“The feeling seems to be that it’s a defining game, and that’s not necessarily correct in my opinion,” McCoist said. “I think you have to take a step back and look at it, Celtic are the best team in the country at present. A lot of people would expect them to win the game regardless.

“It’s probably true that if Graeme manages to win he stands a better chance of getting the job. But it would be wrong, in my opinion, to judge the man over one game. Any fair minded person would look at his overall performance which I think has been good. Over the piece I think he’s done a good job.

“His signing have been good, there have certainly been an improvement in terms of performances although, at Rangers, you are only ever one game away from a crisis.

“Losing to Celtic, losing to Kilmarnock was not ideal. But it shouldn’t be as simple as to say that because of that he doesn’t get the job.”

Murty has repeatedly stressed that he is content to work to the original timescale and discover his future at the end of the campaign.

In an address to supporters on Monday, chairman Dave King thanked Murty for his efforts in recent months after he was thrust back into the spotlight for a second time.

But he also targeted “immediate success” as he vowed to help bring silverware back to Ibrox following another tumultuous campaign.

McCoist said: “I don’t think a decision has been made. It would be extremely difficult to keep it quiet if one had been made.

“Dave King will let everyone know when the time is right what the plans to move forward will be.

“The timing was perhaps a little bit strange but he hasn’t said Graeme isn’t getting the job. A lot of people are surmising. His comments are correct.

“The next appointment is absolutely vital but that’s not to say it won’t be Graeme. People are jumping to conclusions.

“It’s difficult for me to say whether he’s done enough because I don’t know what the options are.

“Dave King and the board can answer that. What I would say is that I don’t think Graeme has done his chances any harm at all.

“I’ve heard the rumours about Frank de Boer, Derek McInnes has been mentioned again, as has Alan Pardew. I don’t know what the board are thinking.”

Murty stepped up from his role as Rangers’ Under-20 boss to succeed Pedro Caixinha in October.

It is a role only he will decide whether he can return to if he misses out at Ibrox this summer.

“That is his choice,” McCoist said. “I think he could do it, whether he would want to do it is another question.

“I think he has done well enough to get himself a job. I am not saying that is what he would do, but he would have the option to do that. I definitely think if he doesn’t get the job at Ibrox he has done well enough to get another club, there is no doubt about that.”

n Ally McCoist was speaking at a William Hill event. William Hill are the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup