Rangers are bringing a 20-man squad down to England for their friendly with Derby County & one player who was hoping to break through with the first team this season was left behind. Barrie McKay, who spent much of last season on loan with Morton, did not make the trip to Derby for Saturday’s match.
Instead, McKay was in the lineup for a youth match with Blackburn Rovers’ U18 team. According to Elfideldo’s match report, from his Rangers Youth site – Rangers fielded a side that “included three from the U18 group, three U19s, four under 20s and Barrie McKay who is now under 21.” Blackburn’s side was all U18 players except for one older player.
McKay played the entire 90 minutes in the 2-1 victory. Darren Ramsay scored both of the goals for Rangers.
It is curious that McKay has been relegated to the youths as the first team plays two matches in a span of four days. After the match with Derby on Saturday, they take on Hibs in the
Ramsdens Petrofac Training Cup on Tuesday. You would assume that Ally McCoist will be extremely liberal with his substitutions vs. Derby.
McKay started the pre-season strongly with a strong outings vs. Buckie Thistle & in Canada against the Victoria Highlanders. Many fans were hopeful that he would see time with the first team from the outset of the season, likely not as a starter but as a burst of energy off of the substitutes bench.
Of course, this is only one match that he is missing & may still be in McCoist’s plans for the season but there is an awful lot of competition for time in Rangers midfield.
While McKay’s talent is evident, there were knocks about his passion & commitment during his time with Morton.
What will happen with McKay if he does not see time with the first eleven? Will he be sent out on loan again? Will he forever be buried behind the likes of Fraser Aird, David Templeton, & Dean Shiels?