RANGERS winger Barrie McKay was forced to turn down his Man of the Match award at Ibrox yesterday but team-mate Kevin Kyle believes a richly rewarding career lies in store for the exciting winger.
McKay, who lit up his team’s 3-0 Scottish Cup fourth-round win over Elgin City, does not celebrate his 18th birthday until 30 December so could not legally take possession of the alcoholic prize offered to him afterwards.
“He couldn’t accept the champagne,” revealed Kyle. “I’ll happily take it off him! He was brilliant today, though. He’s just one of these kids who come along now and again.
“I was blessed with a big stupid head for heading the ball when I came through. He’s blessed with pace and, when you’ve got pace and half a brain, you can go a long way in football. He’s got it all in abundance and the coaching staff are great with him. When he listens, he’s different class, and he deserves all his plaudits today.”
Former Scotland striker Kyle, who claimed his first Rangers goal at Ibrox when he headed in a McKay corner, is typically bullish about Rangers’ prospects of success in the Scottish Cup this season despite their new Third Division status.
“I believe we are good enough to win the cup,” said the 31-year-old. “We showed when we beat Motherwell 2-0 in the League Cup earlier this season how good we really are. It all blended well together that night and we turned them over.
“Against Inverness in the next round, it was quite the opposite, they turned us over. But it’s just a confidence thing. As the weeks are progressing, we are getting better, getting more confident, getting players back from injury, so we have a better squad. It would be amazing if we did it. The gaffer set his targets at the beginning of the season and one of those was to have a good run in the cups.”
McKay’s performance also earned praise from Rangers manager Ally McCoist who felt the youngster had previously been unable to sustain that level for 90 minutes.
“Barrie was probably as consistent today as he has been throughout a match,” said McCoist. “He has always shown flashes of good play and intelligence but he played consistently well today which was pleasing.”
The only sour note for Rangers yesterday was a knee injury sustained by midfielder Ian Black. It will be assessed today but McCoist suspects the Scotland international will be sidelined for at least two weeks.
Elgin City manager Ross Jack praised his team and felt the outcome might have been different had they taken any of the chances which came came their way. “I’m proud of the performance,” said Jack.
“If we’d taken one of our chances, it would have made it a bit nervous for them.”