DEREK McInnes has criticised Rangers for the handling of their drawn-out managerial search.

But the Aberdeen manager refused to say whether he was standing by last week’s claim he was staying put in the Granite City.

McInnes remains Rangers’ number one choice to replace Pedro Caixinha despite seeing his side lose to the Ibrox outfit twice in the space of five days and an approach could be made in the coming days.

But it is now approaching six weeks since Caixinha was axed and the protracted recruitment process and subsequent rumours have frustrated the former Ibrox midfielder.

And he made his annoyance clear as he spoke to the press after Ibrox caretaker Graeme Murty masterminded Rangers’ 2-1 win at Pittodrie.

“I made my position clear a few weeks ago and this has been ongoing,” said the 46-year-old. “It just feels as if it has dragged on and on.

“I’m not happy with how things have played out.

“I know [the press] have a job to do and must be getting fed some sort of stuff, so there has been plenty of encouragement to run stories.

“Everybody seems to be in the know and every other day there is someone giving an opinion on my future and what Rangers are doing.

“It’s not been as straightforward as it should have been the last few weeks.”

But pressed on whether he remained just as committed to Aberdeen as he did last week when he “totally endorsed” his chairman Stewart Milne’s claim his manager was going nowhere, McInnes left room for doubt.

“It’s wrong for me to make a comment on speculation or assumption,” he replied. “I’m manager of Aberdeen and my job is to get a winning team on the pitch.”

Yet for the second time this week he found himself outfoxed by Murty.

Danny Wilson’s header put Rangers in front 14 minutes in but there was a major flashpoint in the 56th minute when former Aberdeen skipper Ryan Jack saw his first Pittodrie appearance in a Rangers kit end early as he was dismissed for following through with his studs on Stevie May.

Yet the visitors struck again soon after when Josh Windass finished off a flowing counter-attack.

Aberdeen teenager Frank Ross pulled one back almost immediately but it was not enough to prevent Rangers leapfrogging Aberdeen into second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership table.

Murty, who is expected to revert to his under-20s duties this week as Rangers step up their pursuit of McInnes, was pleased with his team’s response to Jack’s dismissal.