Barrie McKay doesn’t turn 20 years old until December, yet he has been at the heart of many a debate amongst Rangers supporters for nearly three years. He has been labeled as “inconsistent”, “moody”, & even as a future star for Rangers. Ally McCoist’s refusal to embrace McKay’s talents & to give him a shot with the first team over the last couple of years has been symbolic of many people’s frustrations of how the manager has approached the development of this team.
However, if McKay returns to Rangers a better player because of his recent loan spells, than people may begin to alter their evaluation of McCoist’s handling of the youngster.
After a difficult loan spell with Morton last season, the fear was that it was going to be more of the same this season with Raith Rovers. The initial reports were eerily familiar – a “mixed bag”, “less than willing to track back on defence”, & “lazy” in his passing. It was difficult not to believe that McKay was destined to be yet another talented youngster who never lived up to his potenial.
Credit Raith manager Grant Murray though, he has stuck with McKay & has hinged much of the club’s success to the production of McKay out on the wing.
It appears that Murray’s patience is paying off. McKay has asserted himself as one of Rovers’ most important players & McKay was rewarded with his first goal in nine appearances in the 2-0 cup victory over Stirling Albion this past weekend.
McKay addressed his improving play & the prospects for his future with The Courier after the match. “I thought I played really well but I need to keep improving as a player as well.”
“The more games I play well, the better it is for me.”
“I got more involved today and created a lot of chances. I got my goal as well which is a bonus for me. It was important for me to start getting goals because that’s what my game lacks just now.”
It is refreshing to hear a more reflective McKay, who appears to have really grown under the tutelage of Murray.
“Since I came in the gaffer has just asked me to be positive, and as the weeks have progressed I’ve started to get better and more confident.”
Murray added, “I told him in there that he was outstanding. I’m delighted that Rangers have allowed us to take him, but if he performs like that he’ll be back there. He was unplayable today.”
McKay’s loan is scheduled to end in January & therein lies the predicament. As his development appears to really be catching some momentum playing first team football in the Championship, is McCoist ready to allow McKay continue his progression in Rangers’ first eleven? If not, would he be better served extending his stay with Raith?
So far, McKay is in the dark on where the rest of his season will take place. “I don’t know yet, I’ve not really heard anything.”
“I’ll be happy wherever I’m going to play, whether it’s staying at Raith or going back to Rangers.”
“The more games I get the more experience I’m going to get.”
“When I do eventually go back to Rangers, I’ve got more games under my belt to try & push for a place in that team.”
- Where do you think McKay’s development will be better served in 2015?