By Craig Turnbull
Barrie McKay says he never lost faith in his belief that he could make it at Rangers.
The winger has been nominated for the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award after lighting up the Championship with some dazzling performances under new boss Mark Warburton.
He’s enjoyed the adulation of the supporters particularly after a stunning goal in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic but that hasn’t always been the case.
Despite starting promisingly under Ally McCoist when Rangers were in League Two, a broken foot sustained against Linfield in a friendly stunted his progress and, with new signings arriving at Ibrox, McKay soon found himself surplus to requirements and was loaned out to Morton and Raith Rovers.
“I think at the start I definitely did get a chance but maybe after I broke my foot it was a bit harder to get myself back fit and get myself back in.
“They’d brought players in and they were high quality maybe the loan spells allowed me to get first-team experience that I wasn’t getting at Rangers.”
The summer of 2015 ushered in a new era at Rangers with Warburton taking the reins and McKay was given the opportunity to impress though he says he never doubted his ability.
“I think you’ve always got to believe,” he said. “My family and friends always had belief in me.
“To be able to come back I always had that belief in myself but it was always down to whom the manager was and if I was in their plans.
“Now I’m maybe a wee bit more mature but I think the gaffer has the team playing in a style that suits me. I think with every player it’s all about having confidence in yourself.
“When new managerial team came in at the start of the season they said to everyone it was a clean slate and nobody will be judged on their past. He gave me the chance and thankfully I took that.”