MARK WARBURTON is ‘surprised and saddened’ to see ‘first class’ players Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller suspended by Rangers.

The pair have been told to stay away from Ibrox and Auchenhowie while Gers chiefs conduct an investigation into an alleged bust-up with boss Graeme Murty.

Tempers flared in the Light Blues’ dressing room in the aftermath of the 4-0 defeat to Celtic on Sunday.

And former Ibrox manager Warburton admits passions were always likely to run high at Hampden.

He said: “Any Rangers supporters will be saddened by the result because obviously it means so much to the fans and it was a chance to get to a cup final. On the day, they were very much second best. So from that angle it was very sad to see.

“The other side, I can’t get involved in that. All I know is that, having worked with the players, I know their qualities so I am very surprised and saddened to hear about the events.

“You don’t want to hear of anything that weakens Rangers’ progress and the club clearly needs to make progress.

“Every manager, every coach, will run a dressing room differently. That is their prerogative and that is what they get paid to do.

“I am a big believer in personal opinion, I like opinion, I like it being delivered in a respectful manner and that is the key for me. That is just my own opinion and I think it is important it is made clear that every manager will run a dressing room as he sees fit for the best outcome for the team and the club.

“What actually happened, I don’t know. It is not my business and it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on that.

“Players are passionate about their clubs, players want the team to do well and they recognise the significance of such games.

“All I know, from my past experience, is that those guys were first class.”

The row with Wallace and Miller comes two years after Warburton had an infamous training ground run-in with summer signing Joey Barton.

The midfielder was later released from Ibrox, just months - and eight games - after he had put pen-to-paper on a deal with the Gers.

Rangers will make no further comment at present and Warburton admits it can be a difficult situation for all.

He told talkSPORT: “No, not really [I don’t cast my mind back to those events] if I am honest. You move on. Every situation undoubtedly is different and you learn from each situation. I am really disheartened to read some of the misquotes and stories about what happened at the weekend.

“The danger is here, as with the Joey situation, you are not allowed to speak and players are under suspension so it is very hard for any individual, be it Graeme, be it players, to defend themselves because of restrictions, be it legal or otherwise.

“That is the danger and what does that result in? It results in open day for the media to say supposedly what happened and how they see it developing.

“That is the hardest thing for players and managers and coaches, they can’t get their point across and explain the reasons behind the actions they have taken.”