PERHAPS the only question asked more frequently among Rangers fans over the last few months other than who their next manager might be, is what exactly has director of football Mark Allen been doing while all the turmoil in the Ibrox dugout has been unfolding?

After all, isn’t it part of his detail to be the decisive presence that calms such choppy waters with a strategic, long-term plan for the direction of the club?

Well, according to the man himself, yes and no. Yes, it is his remit to present possible solutions to whatever problems the club may be facing to the board. But no, he is not the man who makes the final call on what path to proceed down.

Allen faced the media for the first time in the wake of the announcement that interim manager Graeme Murty would in fact now be keeping his hand on the Ibrox tiller until the end of the season at least.

And his first pronouncement was that perhaps the idea of what his job and responsibilities entail differ from the common perception of what his duties are.

"The director of football role is greatly misunderstood and there is a feeling that it's the all-encompassing decision-maker on everything, when actually, it's more the conductor of the orchestra, that's how see my role,” said Allen. “[My role] was always to come in and assess where the club perhaps needs to go, the things we need to put in place if we are going to be successful and sustained success moving forward and where do you start with that.”

So, with that in mind, in what direction does Allen feel Rangers do indeed need to go?

"My first and foremost thing was to look at it and say we need to put a scouting fraternity in place, that was my first priority, which we've done,” he said. “We identified key people to come in and start that process and that needs to be ongoing. You are scouting players all the time, for now, for next season and maybe for one or two seasons ahead, up and coming youngsters etc. That's the function of the scouting department.

"I oversee that, but I don't run it on a daily basis, that's [chief scout] Andy Scoulding. The next element is liaising with the first-team manager. I have made that position abundantly clear, the decision on players is the manager's. It always will be. Who plays and what system you play, what style, what tactics, what players you sign are all the manager's decision.

“My job in that is to link scouting with the manager and say these are the types of players we've been looking at, we've identified for the squad moving forward. Do these players fit that category? Yes or no. It's the manager who decides that.

"While all that's going on, you are overlooking the academy and making sure it's producing all the right levels in terms of pushing players through the system because in a sustainable football club, your academy is vital. A big part of your job is making sure they are all reaching the milestones we want them to.

"From a medical and sports science perspective, you are overseeing that because you're looking to see if we are attuned with the latest technology, are we across the latest protocols and disciplines, what are we doing in terms of medical development etc?

“If you look from the analytical side, analytics is constantly playing a much bigger role in football, you are making sure you are at the forefront of that technology.

"Finally, the whole operation, making sure there's glue that holds all those component parts together. That is the role of the director of football, to make sure all of those things are working in conjunction towards a common goal and success for the football club, now and for the future. It's not to make a decision what team plays Saturday, what tactics and what players you sign.”

All well and good. But how does Allen respond to the charge that he, and by proxy, the Rangers board, seemed completely unprepared for their number one target – who they took weeks to identify and pursue – turning them down? Were all of the Rangers eggs placed solely in the Derek McInnes basket?

“We had a list within two days [of Pedro Caixinha’s sacking],” Allen said. “In an ideal world, you would like it to be something that happens very quickly, and something that is seamless.

“Sometimes when you are confronted with different things and obstacles it’s not as easy to do those things very quickly.

“My role in that was to present the potential solutions to the board to make that decision, for us to pursue them, which we did. It’s public knowledge that we did pursue it, and we’re now in a position where we’ve just appointed Graeme Murty.”

So, with Murty now in place until the end of this campaign, attention turns to the January transfer window. With Allen stressing that the manager will have the final say on all transfers, he explained how the scouting network he has put in place will help a manager who has never been tasked with signing players to put his own stamp on the squad he has inherited.

“I think it’s a collective thing,” he said. “Ultimately the manager has to have the vision and the foresight to be able to say on any decision that’s made: I’m comfortable to sign and play that player.

“They know what they are looking for in a player, they know the characteristics. Whether they brought them in or not they know, as a football coach, what they’re looking for in a player.

“So, I don’t see any issues in the fact that maybe Graeme hasn’t done this in the past. What I can say is that the recruitment process and the dossier we put together are very thorough. It looks at every aspect of a player, tactically, technically, physically and mentally. And does the very best in terms of that research in terms of identifying whether those players have the characteristics to fit into Rangers set-up.”

And within that comes the mentality to handle the expectation attached with playing in front of 50,000 demanding Rangers supporters every other week.

“The mental one is the most difficult one, if I’m honest, to evaluate because you don’t really know until you put them in there,” said Allen.

“But at least you are looking for certain traits that may lead you to believe that certain players could cope with that.

“They are the greatest supporters in the world, let’s be honest. No one enjoys support like Rangers Football Club. I’d like to see it as less of a burden and more of a driver for someone wanting to play and wanting to experience that and wanting to have that closeness with their supporters.

“I think for footballers it should be a privilege and I think it is for many, to step out on that pitch and play in front of such vocal and supportive groups of people.”