STEVEN THOMPSON reckons Graeme Murty could take a significant step towards landing the Rangers job on a permanent basis with an Old Firm victory on Sunday.

The 43-year-old will look to move his side to within touching distance of Celtic at the top of the Premiership when the Glasgow giants go head-to-head for the third time this term.

Murty has enhanced his own reputation in recent weeks as the Light Blues have put together an impressive run of league form and moved into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

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His contract as boss is due to expire at the end of the campaign but former Ibrox striker Thompson believes a win over Celtic would be another major boost to his cause.

He told SportTimes: “The whole thing is like an interview process for him. Since he got the job until the summer, it is essentially a long interview process.

“He is trying to tick boxes to say to the board at the end of the season ‘make me your new manager’ and he is already proving a lot of people wrong, myself included, with what he has done with the squad so far. If he was to win an Old Firm game and close the gap to Celtic, that ticks another one.

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“You are judged on a lot of things as Rangers manager but trophies and Old Firm games are important, as are European games. This is one of the categories that is important and if Graeme was to win it, it would go a long way to helping him get the job in the summer.

“The cup game is key as well. If Rangers were to get beat, you would have to think Celtic are heavy favourites for another Treble so there is so much riding on these games.

“Speaking to Rangers fans, they have an optimism. They might have had to convince themselves in the past and say they had a good feeling. But, actually, they have got every right to go into this game feeling as though they can get a result.”