McLeish's future in the balance as club falls silent

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The Independent Football

McLeish insisted after Rangers' 2-0 defeat to Celtic in the CIS Cup quarter-final on Wednesday evening that his side is "capable of getting a result" a week tomorrow when the teams meet again in the Scottish Premier League.

He also said that he intended to be in charge for that match. But his body language was that of a manager on the edge, and when the Rangers captain Barry Ferguson was asked late on Wednesday night whether he feared the players' performance may just have ended McLeish's reign, he agreed it was a possibility.

"Obviously the gaffer is under pressure because you are expected to win almost all of the games at Rangers and we have not done that," he said. Ferguson is better informed about the goings-on at Rangers than anyone outside the boardroom, and his evident disappointment has fuelled suggestions that he has already been told McLeish is on the way out.

The club declined to comment on McLeish's future but reports claimed he was in talks about his position. If Rangers lose to Celtic next week, they will be 15 points behind them in the league. The Rangers board, who have remained loyal to McLeish through months of underwhelming results, may feel it is better to act before then.

* Barry Ferguson is out of Scotland's squad to face the United States at Hampden tomorrow because of a pelvic injury.

* The Scottish Football Association told a meeting of the four Home Nations associations in Belfast yesterday that it had ruled out taking part in any Great Britain football team at the 2012 London Olympics. However, the Scottish FA said it had no objection to the other home nations forming British representative sides for the men's and women's Olympic and Paralympic teams.

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