Gary Holt, pictured, has tipped Lyndon Dykes for a Scotland call-up – now that he knows the Livingston striker qualifies as Scottish, writes Alan Pattullo.
Dykes was brought up in Australia but has Scottish parents. His mother is from Dumfries, and his father is from Moniaive, a village in Dumfries and Galloway.
Holt was only made aware of this yesterday morning. The information became more relevant later in the day after Dykes helped Livingston secure a first-ever win over Celtic. His goal after 74 minutes sealed the victory following Scott Robinson’s opener against Neil Lennon’s men, who had Ryan Christie sent off after 25 minutes.
At a time when Scotland are currentlysuffering from a dearth of strikers – Steve Clarke has even dipped into the Championship to select Lawrence Shankland from Dundee United for the forthcoming games against Russia and San Marino – Dykes was a stand-out for the second time in recent weeks on live TV. He also gave Rangers a torrid time in a narrow1-0 Betfred Cup defeat last month. Holt, who won ten caps for Scotland, has resolved to stop talking Dykes up to the Australia Football Federation in the hope he can help him get recognition from Scotland.
“I was championing his case for Australia until this morning when I realised he was eligible for Scotland,” said Holt. “I think he can step up, not a problem. He’s shown the qualities he’s got.
“It’s probably refreshing that he doesn’t care who he’s playing against. It could be in the park with his pals or out there live on TV; it doesn’t matter, he puts a shift in. He wants to score goals and make it uncomfortable for defenders so they know they have been in a game.”
On his potentialScotland credentials, Holt said: “I will certainly be championing that now that I know that [he qualifies],” he said.
“He’s Australian! He talks Australian. I thought they would come knocking but then I heard today he has Scottish parentage, so I’ll be knocking the Australian bit on the head for a wee while.”
Holt praised all his Livingstonplayers for securing a famous victory. It was aided by a first-half red card to Christie, whose challenge on Robinson was judged to be high and reckless by referee Willie Collum.
“I haven’t seen it back but I think it’s just mistimed,” said Holt. “I don’t think it was malicious. Back in my day it’s a great challenge!”