IT would have been the easy thing to do, a course of action that few supporters would have argued with. Indeed, many would have expected nothing less.

It wasn’t the approach that Graeme Murty took, however. In his eyes, it could have done more harm than good.

The 43-year-old resisted the temptation to lay into his players on a couple of occasions during his stint as interim boss. On Saturday, as Rangers manager, he could have been forgiven if he had finally let rip after another inept performance and costly defeat.

But as he reflected on Kilmarnock’s 2-1 win and looked ahead to the visit of Motherwell tomorrow night, Murty was, as usual, measured and composed.

The showing from his side was as embarrassing as the result but Murty must find a way of picking his players up as they get set to return to action at Ibrox.

“With time, and with coaching, and with good man-management, a player has to be able to take that learning on board, and deal with what a coach is asking him to do,” he said.

“Also, a player has to be able to step up and deal with the challenge as it is thrown to him. And if we can do that, then we’ve got a chance.

“I’m a passionate guy. I want to do really, really well. I’ve never hidden that.

“We’ve got a game coming up on Wednesday and we need people who are confident and brave and able to express their ability on Wednesday.

“And if I did anything on Saturday to erode that, then that is a negative impact that I will have had.

“I need to find a way – eventually – to have a positive impact on these players, so that they walk out confident onto the pitch, feeling intense and aggressive.

“Maybe they possibly even need to feel a little bit wounded, and go out and put it right on Wednesday.”

The announcement on Friday afternoon that Murty will remain in charge until the end of the campaign brought a sense of closure, albeit perhaps only a temporary one, to the Rangers managerial situation.

Murty stepped into the dugout on eight occasions as interim boss in recent weeks and did so knowing that each 90 minutes could be his last at the helm.

That fact may have changed now, but he is still being judged game-by-game as he attempts to prove his worth to those inside and outside of Ibrox.

“People are going to judge me, people are going to say whatever they want to say, about me and about the club,” he said.

“What we have to do, if we want these perceptions to change, is know that we are the only people that can do anything about it. And if we want to change things, we will have to do it through actions.

“I could stand here and talk all day about what I want to do, and what didn’t work, etc.

“But at the heart of it, the guys have to go out onto the pitch and execute at a high level. So if we want those perceptions to change at all, we need to do something about it.”

The run of four wins on the spin in the double header with Aberdeen and matches against Ross County and Hibernian went some way to earning Murty the job until the end of the season.

But he is now staring at a hat-trick of top flight defeats after seeing his side stumble against St Johnstone and Killie either side of his appointment as Pedro Caixinha’s successor.

Rangers will round off a tumultuous year at Parkhead on Saturday but the significance of the meeting with Motherwell tomorrow evening can’t be underestimated.

Murty said: “You have to be able to do it. You have to be able to stand up and deal with whatever the opposition throw at you, and then go and play our stuff.

“I thought Kilmarnock were good at what they did. We stood up to it at times. But ‘at times’ isn’t enough.

“As a defender you have to be immaculate, you have to do it every time. And we didn’t reach that level on Saturday.

“The frustrating thing for me is, it’s not that we can’t, but that we can’t appear to do it consistently. So we need to find a way to cope better with what our opponents are doing.”

The Premiership clash will be the first time Rangers have faced Motherwell since the Steelmen emerged victorious in the Betfred Cup semi-finals in October.

The Light Blues were unhappy with the physical approach of Stephen Robinson’s side at Hampden but Murty knows his players must stand up and be counted at Ibrox.

Murty said: “We always have to recognise our opponents and respect what they will try to do. But we will try to impose our style on it.

“And I thought that, for periods in that Motherwell cup game, we stood up to it fairly well, and when we did that we looked okay in that game.

“When we do that, it gives me confidence. But then, when we don’t quite do it, there is too much variation between our good stuff and our bad stuff. It becomes too much.

“The gap between us being in a good moment and in bad moment is too large. And when that happens, such as against Kilmarnock, we look vulnerable.”

The result is more important than the performance for Rangers tomorrow as they attempt to avoid suffering another blow before the second Old Firm showdown of the season.

And Murty knows it is crucial his side head across Glasgow in an improved frame of mind and with another three points to their credit.

He said: “Confidence is a big thing in football, and we have to make sure that we take care of the game before that one.

“I have no doubt that the fans and the players will be up and raring to go and caught up in the Old Firm fever.

“But we have to make sure that, before we do that, we get some structure and basics and fundamentals done really well so as to give us a good chance of success.”