Lyndon Dykes' exit leaves a void at Livingston but Jack Hamilton has the potential to step up

Craig Sibbald was impressed by the young striker’s performance against Rangers

Jack Hamilton competed well in Livingston's 0-0 draw with Rangers.  Picture: Craig Williamson / SNS
Jack Hamilton competed well in Livingston's 0-0 draw with Rangers. Picture: Craig Williamson / SNS

Craig Sibbald is backing rookie striker Jack Hamilton to fill the void left at Livingston as Lyndon Dykes makes his £2 million move to QPR.

With Dykes sidelined on Sunday after Livingston agreed a club record fee for the Australian-born front man with Mark Warburton’s English Championship side, 20-year-old Hamilton led the line in their creditable 0-0 draw at home to Rangers.

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After loan spells at Berwick Rangers, Alloa and Queen of the South over the previous two seasons, Hamilton now has an opportunity to stake his claim for a regular place in Gary Holt’s starting line-up.

Lyndon Dykes' departure leaves a void at Livingston. Picture: Ross MacDonald / SNS

“There are boys there, like Jack, and there is no reason why he can’t do it,” said midfielder Sibbald.

“I am sure the gaffer and (assistant manager) Davie Martindale will be looking to strengthen as well. But Jack won a few headers against Rangers and he puts himself about as well. He has definitely got it in him and with a bit of experience he can get there.”

Sibbald is not only lamenting the departure of a valued team-mate in Dykes, but also a close friend.

“Personally, he is one of my best pals in the changing room so it is a big loss,” added Sibbald. “But that is football for you. You make pals and they move on. We have got to deal with it and move on. I am disappointed to lose a friend but I am buzzing for him to get the move that he deserves.

Craig Sibbald, right, was impressed with the performance of young Livingston striker Jack Hamilton against Rangers.

“He has been massive for Livi. He deserves the move and hopefully he does well down there. Hopefully we can get someone else in and strengthen our team as well.

“For Livingston to get £2 million for a player, it is good and a credit to Lyndon for getting the move and working hard. He has scored the goals and got the move and hopefully he does well down there.”

Sibbald almost snatched the unlikeliest of winning goals for Livingston on Sunday with an 83rd minute shot from inside his own half which almost caught out Rangers goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin.

“I was a bit knackered at that stage and looked up and saw him off his line, so I tried it,” said the 25-year-old.

“I need to get to the gym! I thought he was maybe going to stumble a wee bit but he ended up getting to it. Maybe on another day it goes in.”

It was the only save McLaughlin had to make in a game dominated by the Ibrox men but Sibbald was gratified by a resolute performance which saw Livingston go back to basics and keep their first clean sheet of the Premiership campaign.

“It was a bit of a shift,” he said. “But a good shift from the boys and a good point as well. We weren’t getting up the park, it wasn’t that pretty from us. But it was a good graft and a good point and we are happy to get a point.

“It was definitely back to the real Livi. We had a chat about it and ironed out some of the problems. We went back to our old shape as well and it has definitely helped. Everyone feels more comfortable in that shape. Hopefully we can get a win on the board next week. It definitely feels back to normal.

“We all worked hard on Sunday and we knew it was going to be a shift. We are all buzzing with the point.”

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