Thursday, September 24, 2020
Home Football Scotland: Steve Clarke selects Lyndon Dykes in Nations League squad

Scotland: Steve Clarke selects Lyndon Dykes in Nations League squad

Former Queen of the South and Livingston striker Lyndon Dykes played for Queens Park Rangers in a friendly against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday

Australia-born striker Lyndon Dykes can bring “talent and enthusiasm” to the Scotland squad after earning his first call-up, says manager Steve Clarke.

Dykes, 24, was born on the Gold Coast to parents from Dumfries, and recently joined Queens Park Rangers after 18 months at Livingston.

He joins Robby McCrorie in earning a first call-up for the Nations League games with Israel and Czech Republic.

The 22-year-old goalkeeper is on loan at the West Lothian club from Rangers.

There is, however, no place for Hearts duo Steven Naismith and Craig Gordon, whose season will not start until October.

Clarke also confirmed that US-based attackers Johnny Russell and Lewis Morgan were not considered because of quarantine rules.

Winger Ryan Fraser told Scottish FA medical staff he was not fit enough to be considered, having not played since early March after deciding to leave Bournemouth, while West Brom forward Matt Phillips has also been excluded.

Scotland host Israel on 4 September and visit Czech Republic three days later, with both games behind closed doors.

‘Dykes had to make own decision’

Clarke said he spoke to Dykes at the start of the year but did not “put on any pressure” in an attempt to get him to declare for Scotland.

The forward will not be tied to Scotland until he earns his first cap but the manager cautioned that he would not throw him into the team solely to secure his services, pointing to Oli McBurnie as a potential starter in the lone striker role.

“I hope we bring his talent, his enthusiasm and his ability to bring others into the game,” Clarke said of Dykes. “He’s got an eye for goal as well.

“If he plays as a lone striker, Lyndon’s a good worker, he occupies the central defenders and hopefully that would bring into play the attacking midfielders. But let’s not forget about the other players.”

Scotland Under-21 cap McCrorie re-joined Livingston on loan for this season after finishing last term with Gary Holt’s side.

He has kept two clean sheets in 12 games for the West Lothian team in 2020 while McLaughlin, who joined Rangers this summer, has registered four shut-outs in recent weeks.

Clarke said he has “really good options in goal” but said he also has to “look towards the future”.

“Robby is one of our younger goalkeepers,” he said. “Liam Kelly wasn’t in the QPR team at the end of last season, Craig MacGillivray lost his place at Portsmouth, so it just seemed an ideal time to bring him in and have a look at him.”

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