Rangers have vowed to take “as much time as necessary” in appointing a new boss after finally calling an end to Pedro Caixinha’s seven-month reign.
The beleaguered Portuguese coach was told his time was up on Thursday afternoon after chairman Dave King called an emergency board meeting to discuss the side’s alarming slide.
Caixinha was only in charge for 227 days but presided over several poor defeats in that time, including two of the club’s worst ever results – last season’s 5-1 home drubbing by Celtic and this term’s humiliating Europa League exit at the hands of Luxembourg minnows Progres Niederkorn.
The final straw for the Rangers board came after Caixinha’s side followed up Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi-final exit to Motherwell with a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.
Caixinha, who will be followed out the Ibrox exit by coaches Helder Baptista, Pedro Malta and Jose Belman, leaves with Rangers sitting fourth in the Ladbrokes Premiership, seven points behind arch-rivals Celtic.
Under-20s boss Graeme Murty has been put in temporary charge for this weekend’s trip to Hearts and Ibrox chiefs say they will consider all their options before appointing the club’s 16th permanent boss.
A club statement read: “The priority is to appoint a new manager as quickly as possible.
“But the board will take as much time as is necessary to secure the right person capable of representing Rangers and providing the brand of football supporters rightly expect.”
Caixinha was the surprise choice to replace Mark Warburton in March but the little-known former Santos Laguna and Al-Gharafa boss never looked cut out for the job.
He was certainly backed by the board having being handed around £10million to spend but many of his 11 summer recruits have flopped.
And the Ibrox board suggested this was chief among their reasons for parting company with the 46-year-old, claiming “results have not been commensurate with the level of investment made available”.
Caixinha’s days looked numbered as soon as Louis Moult struck twice to hand Motherwell victory in Sunday’s Hampden showdown.
Victory over Kilmarnock on Wednesday would have bought him time but King – back in Scotland for a rare visit – decided enough was enough when Caixinha’s team threw away their 1-0 lead in a shambolic finale.
The result summed up the Portuguese’s spell in charge of Gers, which has teetered from one mishap to another.
In total he presided over 27 games, managing only 14 wins.
The hammering dished out by Celtic in last season’s final Old Firm clash was the club’s worst ever derby performance at Ibrox while Caixinha also presided over Gers’ first home defeat to Aberdeen in a quarter of a century.
Some were surprised to see him survive his first two games of this season when the Glasgow giants were dumped out of Europe by part-timers Progres.
His judgement on transfer matters was also called into question. He allowed highly-rated Scotland international Barrie McKay to join Warburton at Nottingham Forrest for a meagre £500,000 sum, before shelling out £2.5million on Carlos Pena.
The Mexico international was expected to provide Caixinha’s new-look Light Blues with a cutting edge but has rarely appeared to be money well spent.
Caixinha’s recent row with veteran hitman Kenny Miller has also pointed to splits in the dressing room.
The onus of guiding Gers past a tricky trip to face Hearts at Murrayfield will once again fall on Murty. He was in charge for six games last term in the wake of Warburton’s exit and even secured a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park.