Halliday was dismissed in Monday’s 2-0 win at Morton for allegedly making a gesture in the direction of the home supporters, but TV replays have showed his actions to be innocuous, and to add to insult to injury, the decision cannot be appealed thanks to the rule in which sending-offs for two yellow cards cannot be appealed.
Saturday will be the first time Halliday will have missed a league match for Rangers since joining last summer, and losing a player of his importance has only added to Warburton’s ire.
He explained to RangersTV.tv: “I’ve made it very clear and I’m always going to have to be careful about what I can and cannot say.
“For me, Andy Halliday was guilty of celebrating a goal. It is a tough place to go, against a good opponent, with a good manager where it’s tough to get a victory and any team would find it hard to get the victory.
“We get the very important second goal and he celebrates in the middle of the pitch and to get a second yellow card for that is beyond belief.
“It brings into question any player bringing their finger to their lips, or running down the side of the touchline.
“I’m thinking back to the time that Adebayor ran something like eighty or ninety yards to the fans. I can understand that, but the other night is a baffling decision and we will lose a player due to it as there is no appeals process.
“We will lose an important player in an important game in front of a packed Ibrox and we have got to look and ask ourselves is that right. I just find the whole process and decision frustrating beyond belief.
“I watched the game when I got home on TV and you see them talking about the goal, talking about the great finish and the one-two then you see Andy Halliday looking bemused.
“He can’t work out what has gone on. Look at our bench, we get no dialogue and that’s not a good enough process.
“Look at the core point, a player has been awarded a second yellow, been booked, for celebrating a goal. I understand that if your shirt comes off you are booked, he literally raised his hand in a clenched fist in terms of saying “we’ve scored a second goal”, a big goal in front of the fans.
“I will wait to hear an explanation, but it will just be the normal.”
Warburton’s discussions on the night with the match officials failed to satisfy him, and he admitted his fears for the future of the game should yellow cards be shown in such instances going forward.
He continued: “The explanation was that Andy made a gesture that could incite a riot or trouble with the Morton fans.
“I think that if a player runs up to a set of fans and makes a gesture in front of them in an intimidating manner, then I understand absolutely as the last thing anyone wants to see is any fan trouble or anyone hurt.
“It’s in the middle of the pitch and he’s walking back in front of the Rangers fans. I will aim to seek some clarity and an explanation, but I think everyone in football knows that if we start to go down that route in football then we would be booking and sending players off every time there is a game played.”