STEVEN THOMPSON reckons Andy Halliday was ‘thrown under the bus’ by Rangers boss Graeme Murty on Sunday.

The midfielder was handed a recall to the starting line-up for the Scottish Cup clash with Celtic.

But he was hooked before half-time and had to watch on as Murty’s side crashed to a 4-0 Old Firm defeat.

Thompson said: “I’ve got sympathy for Andy Halliday. I thought he was thrown under the bus a wee bit.

“You know, you’re chucked into this game of enormous magnitude having not really been playing on a weekly basis so he’s not at his fittest.

“He’s thrown into that midfield. A midfield that was completely disorientated because Graeme Murty had tried to guess what Celtic were going to do.

“They were all confused. Nobody knew what their roles were because Celtic didn’t play the shape that they had worked on all week.

“But, here’s the point. There’s four minutes until half time.

“Why take a player off in the 41st minute? What can you gain in four minutes there?

“Wait until half time, take him off and save all the emotions and embarrassment.

“It was an error starting him in the first place and the second error is just wait until half time.”

Defeat to Celtic ended Murty’s chances of retaining his position as Rangers manager next term.

But Thompson has some sympathy for the 43-year-old after he stepped up from the Under-20s in October.

Thompson said: “No he won’t [be at the helm next season]. I think that was fairly obvious from King’s statement.

“The timing of the statement was questionable but I think for Graeme Murty to get the job he had to win a trophy and finish second. Both of those things had to happen.

“He’s been flung in, he’s been firefighting the mess the board made with Caixinha in the first place and I think he’s done well.

“Thrown into a cauldron and I think he can come out of the whole thing with his head held high.

“Not [Sunday] but in general terms for a rookie in difficult circumstances.”