GRAEME MURTY believes there was no intent from Cedric Kipre to injure Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack on Wednesday night.

The 25-year-old was stretchered off late in the first half after being caught on the knee by the Motherwell stopper.

And he is still a major doubt for the Old Firm clash with Celtic as Rangers continue to monitor his progress.

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Gers fans were furious the challenge went unpunished by referee John Beaton but Murty has given Kipre the benefit of the doubt.

He said: “I’ve watched it again and the big guy doesn’t put any force through the bottom of his foot as Ryan slides in to make the pass.

“He doesn’t stamp down. He’s trying to block it and there’s a coming together.

“It is a sore one, it’s a nasty one and we are going to miss a player but I don’t think there was any intent. He didn’t intend any damage.

“He wasn’t [booked]. There is no point saying if he should or could have been.”

Kipre was shown a yellow card for catching Eduardo Herrera in the face with a high boot in one of several flashpoints during a feisty Premiership clash.

Rangers have had a series of major decisions go against them this term but Murty has some sympathy for the men in the middle.

He said: “I think professional referees would be a good thing.

“I think the speed of the game, the intensity and the distances covered. I wouldn’t want to be a referee trying to chase our guys down.

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“Every person in the world is an expert in footballing matters and everyone in the world is a refereeing expert as well.

“Referees can’t win. As long as they show a level of consistency and can deal with the players in the right manner I think you have to get on with it.

“It just shows the human element to refereeing.

“If everyone had the benefit of hindsight we would do loads of different things.

“Referees don’t. They have to make a snap decision.

“There is a retrospective appeals process. I think that again shows they are human and there is no other agenda behind it.”

Jack has been on the wrong end of two red card calls this season after his dismissals in the matches with Hibernian and Kilmarnock were overturned on appeal.

He was unsuccessful in his attempts to rescind his sending off for a challenge on Stevie May during the win over Aberdeen and Murty insists that decision can’t be compared to the controversy at Ibrox.

He said: “The incidents are completely different. The mechanism are completely different as well.

“We just accept the decision from the referee and move forward.

“There were a couple of sore ones but the guys cracked on and manged to get a win.”