Rangers manager Mark Warburton has told the Glasgow Evening Times that he is gutted for Dominic Ball, because he will miss the Scottish Cup final through suspension.
Warburton masterminded his side's stunning penalty shoot-out win over Old Firm rivals Celtic, as after a 2-2 draw in 120 minutes at Hampden Park, the Championship side managed to bag the victory.
Beating the Premiership champions is quite the achievement for Rangers, but somewhat lost in all the post-match celebrations was that the Gers have now advanced into the final to take on Championship rivals Hibernian yet again, after a number of meetings already this season.
One player who won't be playing in that game though is Dominic Ball. The 20-year-old, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, and has proved to be a key player for Rangers thanks to his versatility to play at both centre back and in holding midfield.
However, a booking against Celtic means that Ball will now be suspended for the Scottish Cup final with Hibernian, which is a huge blow for the player and Rangers in general.
Now, manager Warburton has admitted to the Glasgow Evening Times that he is 'gutted' for Ball, given that he's a young player who will now miss out on the chance to play in a huge cup final clash at Hampden Park.
Warburton added that he didn't want to break the new to Ball on Sunday night, and ultimately wants to see a rule change to allow players to play in the final.
"Gutted for him," said Warburton. "This rule, not that we can change it now, I hate to see any player of any team miss a final. Dom Ball was outstanding for a lad of 20-years-old playing out of position. He misses the final for a fairly innocuous yellow card. That’s tough. It is above my pay grade, but I think there should be some sort of rule change. When players are missing maybe a once-in-a-lifetime experience it’s a harsh one."
"I’m not sure [when he found out]. I saw his mum and dad and him in a bar where I live in the West End and he was in a great mood. I thought ‘I’m not sure you know Dom’ so I wasn’t going to tell him [on Sunday] night. I think he knew on the coach. But, again, it is testament to a 20-year-old’s character that he never showed. He had a good night with his family. But it’s harsh on him, really harsh, and a big miss for us," he added.
How much will Rangers miss Ball against Hibernian?