Barrie McKay hopes Hearts can spark Scotland Cup final against Rangers as he revisits Hampden low score

23 May 2022 | 08:53 | Football

From scaling the heights in the semifinals to being beaten in the finals.

Barrie McKay experience the full spin of Scottish Cup Feeling like a Rangers player in the space of roller coaster week in 2016.

His impressive goal in the semi-final ignited an explosive victory in the Hampden derby Celtic Still a career at its best.

But then the opportunity to perform in front of Championship team-mate Hibs – with Gers red favorites to end a seven-year wait for the trophy – only to put McKay and his teammates back on track. land in the most painful fashion.

Six years on and McKay is now on the Edinburgh side of the east-west finals Heart looking to reverse the odds and give Hampden another heartbreak for the Gers fans, who are still awaiting their first Scottish Cup win since 2009.

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The wingers are hungry to add to their pain. It’s not that he feels unfair about the way his Gers career ended – he just insists that he has unfinished business to deal with.

And he thinks Hearts has the experience to help him do that.

Recalling his extra-time feat from 2016 – beating current Jambos teammate Craig Gordon then in a Celtic goal – McKay insists it was still the best game of his career. He said: “Yes, certainly.

“Obviously the goal and the importance of the game.. we went on and won and it was the first derby win in a while so it was a big day for the club and the others. supporter.

“We hit such a high level after beating Celtic. But then you go to such a low level after losing the final.

“You can win as many games as you want but you want to lift the trophy at the end.

“Do I have unfinished business? It’s correct. Every player wants to win trophies and I am no different.

“You go into every game and want to win. We will plan the game and try to win.

“We have enough experienced players on the team who have played on big occasions. A few of the newer boys have played in the semi-finals and that should get them ready for the finals.

“This time it was easier because we had matches all the way to the national cup final.

“With Rangers in 2016, I think we’ve got three weeks off and that’s going to hold us back a bit.

“We’re all looking forward to it and hopefully we can win it.”

McKay’s has had a decent record in semi-final derbies, after following up on a penalty shootout success against Celtic in 2016 by helping Hearts beat Hibs at Hampden last month to score a brace on Saturday.

The Jambos are chasing a ninth success in the league and the first in a decade since what could have been their greatest moment at the national stadium when Paulo Sergio’s side thrashed Hibs with a scoreline. 5-1.

That group of players are immortalized in Tynecastle history as they were both inducted into the Hearts Hall of Fame at this year’s Player of the Year awards.

And McKay is well aware that the class of 2022 could also become legends if they can follow in their third place in the Premier League by lifting the Scottish Cup.

He said: “When I signed the contract, I knew the importance of the club. It’s about coming, playing the game and helping the team.

“A semi-final against your opponents is huge.

“But nobody remembers the semi-final if you don’t make it to the final and go on and win.

“It’s a big game for the players and for the club and hopefully we can be successful.”

As Hearts gears up for the show in comfort at their Oriam base in the capital, Rangers are gearing up for one of the biggest games in their history 1,800 miles away in the sweltering heat of Seville. tonight.

The Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt is sure to drain Gio Van Bronckhorst’s men just three days before they are exhausted at Hampden.

But McKay focused entirely on what Hearts does and made sure not to repeat Saturday’s 3-1 defeat in costume rehearsal at Tynecastle.

He also only knows too well that his former teammate James Tavernier – who helped him win the Hampden howitzer in 2016 – is in his life.

He said: “Tav is a great player and someone to watch. His numbers are ridiculous for a right-back player given how many goals he has scored and how many assists he has provided.

“He’s the only one left from when I played there so it shows you how good he is when he’s been around for so long.

“We need to focus on ourselves and stick to the game plan we come up with. We’re going to try and do what we’ve been doing all season, which is to play well and score goals.

“I don’t think Saturday has any effect on the weekend. If we go ahead and win the trophy, I don’t think anyone will remember it. It’s on our minds now and we’re just focused on the final.

“We want to win the cup. We’ve had a good season but we want to take it a step further and win the Scottish Cup.”

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