BARRIE McKay claims it was him who sealed David Bates’ move to Rangers – the defender has kept clean sheets in his first three competitive games for the Gers.
McKay played with Bates at Raith Rovers and it was the 20-year-old’s display against the winger in the Championship last season which caught the eye of Davie Weir.
Now good friends McKay says he tried to calm Bates before his Light Blues debut against Kilmarnock but admits he thinks he made his nerves even worse!
McKay told RangersTV:
“I helped Batesy seal a move here; I put in a good word for him! We are pretty close, we talk a lot and I have a lot of time for him.
“I think his first few games he was maybe a bit nervous before it and it probably didn’t help that I was on at him.
“I was trying to help calm him down and I probably made it worse for him.
“I was just trying to have a joke with him and try and take his mind off the game, it was going to be his first start against Kilmarnock and I was just trying to get him ready for it.
“I think in his first three games he has been brilliant, he’s kept three clean sheets and you can’t really ask any more of him.
“I think Danny has helped him a lot too playing beside him, he’s the experienced one in the back four and that has helped Batesy play.”
With Pedro Caixinha’s backline still riddled with injury Bates is in line for a start in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final and McKay is predicting his career will come on leaps and bounds.
“I knew him from when I was at Raith and he was a great big defender then and he was a bit younger than me so it was hard for him to break through.
“It wasn’t really the right time for him and he went out on loan and did well.
“He is a big boy; he’s a good centre-half at defending maybe not on the ball! He is a no nonsense centre-half and he’s a great defender – that’s how I’d describe him.”