THE protagonists are different, but the plotlines are similar. In the story of Barrie McKay’s career, two chapters and characters won’t be remembered fondly.

If the winger ever sits down to chronicle his life and times in the game, the pages dedicated to Pedro Caixinha and Aitor Karanka will bare striking resemblances. Now, though, McKay is writing a new tale under the guidance of Graham Potter.

At times for Rangers and Nottingham Forest, when Mark Warburton was in the dugout, McKay produced the kind of form he and his manager knew he was capable of and that supporters always hoped he would showcase.

He has twice become a victim of circumstance, however. He would struggle to reproduce the sparkling displays while Caixinha was at Ibrox and he would rarely get the chance to prove his talents once Karanka arrived at the City Ground.

His ability has never been in question but McKay couldn’t provide the answers that Caixinha and Karanka were looking for in Light Blue or Red. Just a year after leaving Rangers for Forest, he was on the move again in the summer as he signed for Swansea.

McKay’s departure from Rangers changed the course of his career. A return one day isn’t out of the question for the 23-year-old but he has unfinished business, and perhaps a point to prove, at the Liberty Stadium these days.

“If, later on in my career, it came back up I would seriously think about going back,” McKay told SportTimes. “At the time I did leave Rangers, it was the same as Forest, I never really had the choice.

“I was made aware that they didn’t want me so it was more or less getting out and getting playing.

“I went to Forest and I was playing all the time but then the same thing happened with the change of manager. I have been unfortunate, I think, but these things happen in football.

“It was obviously difficult to leave. I first came through as a young boy and then they brought in players and I found myself out on loan. I got myself back and became a regular but then quickly found myself out of the picture again.

“It was tough to take. It is difficult for any footballer when you go from being first choice to not really playing at all. It can be mentally tough but I think it has helped me a lot and it will help me deal with things in my career.”

The departure of Warburton and David Weir from Ibrox proved to be a sliding doors moment for McKay. From then on, he never really recovered at Rangers.

He became an increasingly bit-part player following Caixinha’s ill-fated appointment and there was anger amongst supporters when he was sold to Forest for just £500,000 last summer. Plenty has happened to McKay and Rangers since, of course.

Another change in the dugout, this time as Karanka was brought in following a wretched run of form in the Championship, saw McKay have to prove himself once more as his Forest fortunes changed.

As the Spaniard put his stamp on the squad, McKay was deemed surplus to requirements yet again. The exit was inevitable and it was Swansea that proved his savours in the summer as he signed a three-year deal.

“I knew that I wasn’t going to play because I wasn’t even training with the first team,” McKay said. “I was with the 23s so I knew it was my time to leave.

“It wasn’t as if I forced myself out, it was just a football decision at the end of the day. I need to be playing so I had to leave.

“It is tough mentally but it is all about your attitude. You can go in with the 23s and have a bad attitude but at the end of the day you are only stinging yourself.

“If you move on, you could be behind fitness wise. So I just knuckled down and did what I had to do. Then, when I came to Swansea, I could hit the ground running.

“It is what happens in football, you need to be ready for change. That is what happened at Forest. There was a change of manager and a change of philosophy more or less and that can happen.

“He wanted to bring his own players in and he signed a lot of players in his first transfer windows. That can happen in the game and you need to be ready to move on.”

Having done just that, McKay is now starting afresh once more as Potter looks to build a side capable of returning to the Premier League as quickly as possible.

He has joined a team and a club in a state of redevelopment following their relegation last term but is working under a manager that has belief and trust in him.

Now no longer operating within the Glasgow bubble, there is a degree of out of sight, out of mind for Scottish football fans when it comes to McKay.

Life on the south coast of Wales is different, but in a good way, for the Scot. At long last, he may have found a place where the grass is greener.

McKay said: “I am loving it at Swansea, it is a proper family club and all the people have made me feel really welcome. Even just about the town, it has got a really good feel about it.

“After I spoke to the manager, I felt that this was the right move for me because of the style of play and his man management. When I went and met him, he was a big factor for me.

“It is a different style of play here to what I have been used to and I have been asked to do different things. You need to develop your game in each system, each style of play and under each manager.

“Every game is different. Since I have come here, the manager has given me a lot of confidence and that really helps so hopefully I can have a good season.”

The requirement for a more productive campaign is as great for McKay as it is Swansea as he and the club look to establish themselves once again following their respective recent difficulties.

The forward experienced the highs and the lows during a Rangers career that took him from the Third Division to the Premiership. It is an experience that will undoubtedly stand him in good stead.

“There is pressure everywhere you go and this club were in the Premier League last season before we unfortunately got relegated,” McKay said.

“You can go about your stuff here and while you get scrutinised where you are, it is maybe not as much outwith that. That is probably the difference with Rangers.

“When you are under that pressure and scrutiny, you need to be able to deal with it or you won’t be able to succeed. That is the bottom line, really.

“Swansea obviously had the disappointment of last season and now it is about trying to build again. We want to get that disappointment of relegation out of the way and get a good squad and progress.

“We will take it as it comes. We have got a young squad, an exciting squad, and hopefully we can do well.”