ABERDEEN may have been unable to get the better of Rangers on the field of play last week by winning either of the back-to-back Ladbrokes Premiership games they played against their main rivals for second spot.

Yet, the Pittodrie club, beaten 3-0 away from home on Wednesday evening and then defeated 2-1 on their own turf on Sunday despite having a one man advantage, certainly scored a major victory over their Ibrox rivals off it yesterday

Retaining the services of their manager Derek McInnes - who had, at long last, after weeks of feverish speculation about his future, been the subject of an official approach from Rangers on Tuesday - was something of a coup for Aberdeen.

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Not surprisingly, their supporters wasted little time in taking to social media websites and radio phone-ins last night to crow over their triumph and wind up the followers of their loathed adversaries.

This setback is, no two ways about it, a hugely embarrassing one for Rangers and will sting just as much, if not more, than the inability to triumph in any game.

It was deeply puzzling that it took such a long time for the Glasgow club to make contact with their target when he was installed as the favourite to take over the very day that Pedro Caixinha was sacked back at the end of October.

But it is beyond comprehension that, having waited six weeks to finally make their move, McInnes has turned them down. They should have been completely confident in their ability to land their former midfielder after that length of time. Their very public failure has caused much merriment among their opponents’ fans.

It does nothing to suggest those who occupy the boardroom understand the complexities of the football world and are capable of restoring the Ibrox club to their position at the forefront of the Scottish game in the seasons to come.

Would Celtic, or even Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs for that matter, leave themselves open to ridicule in such a manner? It is very hard to see it. This reflects badly on the current hierarchy.

This development also poses a serious question for the Rangers directors – who do they go for now?

Having had their fingers badly burned by bringing in a head coach from overseas, and even from down south before that, it was logical that they should turn to a Scot with a strong connection to Ibrox in their hour of need.

Tommy Wright, the Northern Irishman who has worked wonders with St. Johnstone, had his backers as did his countryman Michael O’Neill, the Edinburgh-based coach who took his national team to the Euro 2016 finals and then the Russia 2018 play-offs, had their backers.

But McInnes, the former Rangers player who has led Aberdeen to the League Cup as well as three consecutive second placed finishes in the Premiership in the four years he has been in charge at Pittodrie, was the outstanding candidate.

There is no obvious individual for them to turn to now who will be accepted by the majority of their followers. Plus, whoever comes in now will not be able to hide from the fact that he was not their first choice appointment.

There will, too, be limited funds for the new Rangers manager to spend due to the fact that Caixinha was, unadvisedly given how poorly his team played and how dramatically some talented players regressed in the final weeks of last season, given in the region of £8 million to strengthen his squad in the close season.

The lack of a significant transfer budget has left some high-profile contenders for the role from England, where clubs are awash with money from their lavish television broadcasting deals, distinctly unimpressed in recent weeks and may well have been what caused McInnes to decide to remain where he was.

What, if any, business will Rangers do in the January transfer window? Mark Allen, who was unveiled as the new director of football in June, has been scouring the continent for potential new recruits in recent months as well as helping to identify a new manager in recent months.

But who is going to sanction any new arrivals now? It is hard to see any significant activity next month.

Rangers would be well advised to retain the services of Graeme Murty for the foreseeable future. The former Scotland internationalist has conducted himself with the utmost professionalism since being asked to take charge on a temporary basis for the second time in a year and has enjoyed some decent results.

Murty has positively relished the role he has been handed, has handled his media responsibilities well and has more often than not got the best out of the group of players he has at his disposal.

He may not be the long-term solution Rangers are looking for but they could do far worse in the short-term as they consider where to go next.