Rangers boss Graeme Murty admits he regrets putting Andy Halliday through his Hampden humiliation - but still feels it was the right thing to do.
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Midfielder Halliday was substituted four minutes before half-time during Sunday’s 4-0 drubbing by Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final and reacted with fury as he took his place on the bench.
Murty - who refused to discuss Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller’s suspensions following an alleged changing-room bust-up - said: “On a personal level, no-one likes to come off at that time and the impact of that has been hard.
“I regret that as a human being. But in terms of a professional level I had to make a decision to alter the shape of the game.
“Andy was the unfortunate guy. It’s horrible. It happens. It’s football.
“He didn’t vent it at me as he came off. I didn’t know about it until afterwards. I’ve no idea who it was aimed at.”
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Murty decided to tread carefully this week with Halliday, who returned early from a loan spell at Qabala in January.
The 26-year-old appeared to shout towards a Rangers supporter as he made his way up the Hampden steps while thousands of Celtic fans chanted his name in mock tribute.
“We’ve spoken this week,” the Rangers boss said. “He’s a little bit raw at the moment. He’s a Rangers fan and he’s hurting.
“So as a human being you have to take that into account, so I won’t press him too much this week. But he knows he’s got my support.
“I brought him back from Azerbaijan because I wanted him in the group.”
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