SCOTTISH CUP: Barry McKay praises Gers spirit after Kilmarnock win

Rangers' Barry McKay.
Rangers' Barry McKay.

Barrie McKay was in no doubt as to just how big a win Tuesday night’s Scottish Cup triumph over Kilmarnock was - or just how much it meant to players and fans alike and everyone associated with the club.

And the winger - who signed an extended contract earlier this week - was full of praise for goal-scorer Nicky Clark.

“We’re delighted. It was a big win for us - we were desperate for the victory. We maybe haven’t been taking enough of our chances in recent weeks but we did against Kilmarnock,” he said.

“It just shows the spirit we have at the club as all the boys kept going right to the end with Nicky Clark getting a great goal.

“It was a great finish from Nicky. He read the delivery to the near post and got there first. It’s been hard for him - he’s done well and scored goals when he’s played but it’s been difficult for him with Kenny Miller and Martyn Waghorn ahead of him,” added McKay.

“He took his chance well to get us through and he’s certainly staked a claim to a regular place.”

Rangers totally dominated the second-half although the first 45 minutes had been a different story with Killie coming back quickly after the loss of the early penalty to level matters through Rory McKenzie - as McKay acknowledged.

“It was a difficult first-half but we showed just how we can play in the second, and that’s how we want to play in every game,” he said.

“We were disappointed with that first-half display, so to go out and perform like that after the interval demonstrates the spirit there is in the camp.”

The youngster was quite positive in his view that the Light Blues had no point to prove in Ayrshire despite the significance of a first success of the season against a Premiership side - the only previous cup-tie encounter being a 1-3 League Cup defeat at the hands of Tommy Wright’s St. Johnstone.

“It doesn’t make any difference that we’ve beaten a Premiership side, we approach every game in the same manner. This was just another game for us to show what we can do and to get the win.”

Tuesday night’s crowd of 13,179 represented the largest attendance at Rugby Park this season by a country mile - more than double the previous best - and included an estimated 9,000 of the ‘Gers support.

There was wholesome praise for the Light Blue legions who turned up in such huge numbers and who acclaimed the late winner so loudly and joyfully.

“It was brilliant to celebrate with the fans. It speaks volumes that they travelled through in numbers on a miserable night in the rain.”

Rangers now await the winners of the Dundee versus Dumbarton replay next Tuesday in the quarter-finals.

McKay, though, was unfazed as to the potential identity of the opposition in the last eight.

“We are always confident against anyone at Ibrox, no matter who it is we will do our best to progress to the semi-finals.

“We all believe we can win the Scottish Cup this year.”