By Doug Ward

14th Dec, 2021 | 6:40pm

Ex-Premier League referee rubbishes Michael Stewart reaction to Hearts red card v Rangers

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive Rangers columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox

Keith Hackett has been raving about Nick Walsh’s refereeing when it came to sending off Hearts player Josh Ginnelly as they lost to Rangers on Sunday.

Ginnelly was booked in each half for off-the-ball incidents.

In the first half, he was shown a yellow card for showing dissent towards the referee while after the break, he was involved in an angry confrontation with Borna Barisic after the Gers left-back tangled with Cammy Devlin.

Hackett has praised Walsh’s decision-making for both yellow cards, saying that Ginnelly’s sending off was the correct call.

“That’s a yellow card. You can’t do that,” Hackett told Ibrox News.

“He’s in the face of the referee, he’s disputing the decision both verbally and physically.

That is a yellow card offence, the referee is spot on.”

When informed of BBC Sportscene pundit Michael Stewart saying that it shouldn’t have been a yellow card because Ginnelly didn’t touch Walsh, Hackett added: “It doesn’t matter, he doesn’t have to.

“He’s offensive by action and verbally and that’s a yellow card offence. It’s a clear yellow card.”

When shown Ginnelly’s second yellow card for getting involved with Barisic, Hackett said: “I compliment the referee. I think he’s done a really good job.

“That player’s the runner. We class that player in a match confrontation as the runner. He’s the easy one to give a yellow card to.

“Good on the referee to show a bit of courage and I’d like to see a bit more of that in England, to be honest.

“Hearts have absolutely no claim and I hope [Devlin] also received a yellow card because that was a reckless challenge.”

Speaking on BBC Sportscene, ex-Hearts midfielder and failed ex-Rangers trialist Stewart suggested that neither offences were yellow cards.

Walsh “lost the plot”, according to Stewart.

But clearly, the SPFL referee was spot on with both decisions with Hackett providing his expert insight.

In other Rangers news, the Gers have made an approach for their first major January signing.