By Harvey Byrne

Former Rangers winger Ted McMinn has labelled current ace Barrie McKay as a “fantastic talent”.

The 21-year-old bagged his second goal of the campaign in the 2-0 victory over Hearts on Saturday.

He has also provided nine goals in his 23 encounters this season and has been a key part in why the Gers are currently sat in second after winning promotion last season.

McMinn believes that the young starlet was struggling at the beginning of the season, stating that he looked like a player without confidence.

But, the 54-year-old still believes that McKay can be a key player for Rangers, hailing him as a real talent.

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“I think he is a fantastic talent,” said McMinn to the Evening Times. “The goal that sticks out is the one against Celtic last season but he has had a number of good games for Rangers.

“For a winger, confidence is so important because you need that belief to take people on. I watched him at the start of the season and he seemed to want to go back all the time.

“That isn’t someone that is playing with confidence. As soon as you get the ball as a winger, your first thought should be to take on the defender. He wasn’t doing that often enough.

“My thought as a winger was to run at someone because if you ask any defender they see players with pace as a threat.

“Barrie maybe lost a bit of confidence, he wasn’t taking the full-back on and teams were doubling up on him so he was turning back to keep possession.

“When you are confident, you want the next game to come as quickly as possible. But he is a real talent and he has the ability to score goals and make goals.”

Mark Warburton’s outfit have performed admirably this season, but there is still an 11-point gap between themselves and fierce rivals Celtic, despite the Hoops playing two games less.

Fans will be eager for the club to improve on that front and become title challengers again, as they were four years ago before suffering administration.

They are set to play eighth place Hamilton Academical in the league next on Friday in a match which sees the Gers as strong favourites.

In other Rangers news, the Gers have received an emphatic response after making an approach for 26-year-old goal machine.