WALTER SMITH believes Rangers are entering one of the most important periods in their history as the Ibrox board consider their options over the new Light Blues boss.

Graeme Murty was appointed as Pedro Caixinha’s successor in December but back-to-back defeats to Celtic and Kilmarnock have dented his chances of landing the job beyond the summer.

Celtic are well on course to clinching a seventh successive Premiership crown and will face Murty’s side next month aiming to move within 90 minutes of another Treble.

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And legendary boss Smith knows the Gers hierarchy can’t afford to get their next big call wrong if they are to stop their Old Firm rivals in their tracks.

He said: “After having experienced a bit myself it (nine-in-a-row) becomes important the closer you get to it.

“Rangers are the only team that can do it. No disrespect to the other teams in Scotland but I don’t think there is another team capable of doing it. So it’s left to Rangers to try and be the team that does that.

“And that’s part of the importance of the decision-making process that’s going to have to take place at the end of this season.

“I think it’s one of the most important periods in the club’s recent history, the next couple of months. It’s going to be a really important time for them.”

The Scottish Cup is Rangers’ last chance of lifting silverware this season after their faint hopes of title glory were extinguished following the 3-2 derby defeat at Ibrox.

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The next Old Firm showdown could be crucial for Murty’s Light Blues future and Smith reckons there is no room for error following the disastrous decision to appoint Caixinha last term.

He said: “As I say I don’t know. You would hope if Graeme is the person they are going to give the job to, you would hope they would tell him sooner rather than later.

“That was the circumstance he was going to get the job so he could start planning and start going ahead.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen and it’s not my forte, my forte was picking teams but not managers.

“But, as I say, I can’t take away from the importance of Rangers making the right decision in that aspect of it, they cannot make the same mistake that they made at the start of this season.

“If they are going to start to get back at Celtic because Celtic have got everything in their favour, they’ve got stability at their club, they’ve got a terrific manager, they’ve got everything going for them, so it’s a hard task for everyone at Rangers but it’s one they’ve got to meet.”