MARK WARBURTON has praised Rangers boss Graeme Murty for doing ‘exceptionally well’ in trying circumstances at Ibrox.

The Englishman brought Murty to Glasgow when he was appointed as Under-20s boss at Auchenhowie two years ago.

But he was then asked to step in to a first team role when Warburton left Ibrox before the appointment of Pedro Caixinha.

The sacking of the Portuguese in October thrust Murty back into the spotlight again and he was handed a deal until the end of the campaign in December.

The 43-year-old looks set to be relieved of his duties at the end of the season but Warburton believes he has given the role his best shot this term.

He said: “That (Murty’s future) is not my business to comment. Graeme is a manager who has come in and, up until Sunday, I read very positive reports.

“He has done well with the squad, they are fighting for second place so for a young manager, so to speak, to be put in a difficult situation I think he has done exceptionally well.

“But it is a very difficult situation for Graeme now. Going forward, that is not my business and I would never comment on a manager in that respect.

“It is a big club, a huge club, and he knows the responsibility that he has been given and I think he has put forward his best job and worked very hard over the last few months.”

Rangers saw their ambitions of Scottish Cup glory ended at the weekend as they crashed to a 4-0 semi-final defeat to Celtic.

And Brendan Rodgers’ side are within touching distance of the Premiership crown as they close in on a seventh successive title.

Warburton lasted just 18 months at Ibrox and the former Nottingham Forest boss knows there are lofty targets for the Gers.

He told talkSPORT: “I think it has been more than well documented that we were in the middle of a project at Rangers – David (Weir), Frank (McParland), myself and the other staff – and it was cut short, put it that way.

“It was cut short and you know the true situation. It is a magnificent club and our aim would always have been to get Rangers back into Europe and competing as quickly as possible and then moving up the table to as high as possible.

“Rangers need to be back at the top of Scottish football, that is where it needs to be and that is the aim. I keep hearing about closing the gap.

“I think true Rangers people will tell you they want to be above and leading the summit.

“I hope very much that they go forward and get positive news but we were obviously disappointed at what happened there 13 or 14 months ago now.”