Murty: Rangers senior player pulled out of Old Firm semi-final 24 hours before kick-off
Rangers manager Graeme Murty has confirmed Lee Wallace withdrew from the squad to play Celtic in last weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final – 24 hours before the sides clashed at Hampden for a place against Motherwell in next month’s final.
The Gers captain has been out of action since September with a groin injury but has been on the brink of a return for at least a month after playing in a number of closed-doors friendlies.
Senior player Wallace has since been suspended after a blazing row with the manager after the final whistle of the 4-0 thrashing and it looks incredibly unlikely that he’ll play for the Gers again.
“(He pulled out on) Saturday. He was in the squad,” Murty said as quoted by the Evening Times.
“That (if he would be on the bench) wasn’t decided at the time.
“It was a conversation we had. Lee’s had a long time out. You have to trust the athlete. If he says he’s not good to go, he’s not good to go.”
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Wallace joined the Light Blues from Hearts in 2011 but has struggled with injuries over the last few seasons and seen himself in and out of the starting XI.
After being suspended by the Gers on Tuesday, Wallace looks set to depart the club in the summer although the 30-year-old still has one year left on his contract with the Gers.
Football Insider verdict
If Wallace felt he was unfit then there’s not much the club can do although it certainly doesn’t look great that he pulls out on the Saturday before getting into a blazing row on Sunday. The 30-year-old has barely kicked a ball this season and with Declan John doing a decent job of deputising, he won’t be a huge loss to the side. The sooner the whole mess is dealt with and in the past the better. The captain will know himself if he was fit or not and if he felt he could have played and still withdrew he should be thoroughly embarrassed.
In other Rangers news, Graeme Murty was left raving over this from last weekend’s Celtic clash.