Rangers Star Barrie McKay Shows He Is Ready For The Hampden Stage



I was surprised that Gordon Strachan didn’t select Rangers youngster Barrie McKay for either of Scotland’s friendlies last month.

Since the turn of the year I’ve said, on here and on twitter, that I thought the winger was ready to take his place in Scotland’s senior squad. Alas Strachan felt uninspiring Celtic wide-man James Forrest deserved yet another call up.

But if Gordon Strachan had any doubts about Barrie McKay, then they would have surely been banished yesterday as the twenty-one year old showed that he was capable of shining in the biggest of games.

Against Celtic, McKay was simply sensational. He showed great composure on the ball, an incredible work ethic and had an attacking vibrancy that couldn’t be matched!

Obviously most people will point out his stunning wonder goal in extra time but in truth his overall game was sublime. Although I am sure he wont tire of seeing that goal back.

No one would have been happier to see Mark Warburton arrive at Ibrox last summer than Barrie. The English manager came in and told the squad, as well as the press, that he would pick a team that thrived with possession and wanted to attack their opponents. A players age would be unimportant as long as they fitted into the manager’s philosophy.

Under the previous managerial regime, headed by club legend Ally McCoist, McKay’s future looked bleak after a bright start. The forward would see less and less opportunities in the Gers first team and would be loaned out to Morton and then Raith Rovers.

He didn’t seem to make a huge impact away from Rangers during those loan spells and most Gers fans thought his time in Govan was going to peter out much like John Fleck’s. Yet another projected star would leave without making the desired impact.

But in Warburton, McKay has found a gaffer who believes in him and who has given him another chance to shine for the ‘Light Blues’. To his credit, Barrie has taken that chance with both hands.

The young attacker knows Warburton will show him loyalty as long as he gives his all to the team:

“The manager has given me a chance from the start of the season and I’ve played in just about every game, so it shows you how much confidence he has in me.”

The winger does works hard, has created a strong partnership with his two full-backs and looks to attack the opposition. Those are qualities the Tartan Army love to see in their wingers.

Against Celtic his fitness levels were highly commendable and he didn’t give their defence a chance to take a break as he glided from one wing to the other.

He showed the same strong attitude and performance against Dundee in the previous round, showing he is ready to step up to the Scottish Premiership and get a chance to stake a claim for a place in Scotland’s upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign.

In fact he’s done it all season.

It was fantastic to see a young Scottish winger shine on the biggest game of his team’s season and come away with the man of the match award.

Hopefully now Gordon Strachan can now reward the youngster with a deserved international call-up come the end of May. That would cap off a superb turnaround in Barrie McKay’s fortunes at Rangers.

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