Scotland coach hints striker Lyndon Dykes could start against Israel

Steven Reid says QPR forward is ‘up to speed’ and is ‘in with a good shout’ of making his debut from the start of the Nations League match

Scotland coach Steven Reid and striker Lyndon Dykes during a training session at the Oriam. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Scotland coach Steven Reid and striker Lyndon Dykes during a training session at the Oriam. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

Scotland coach Steven Reid believes Lyndon Dykes is ready to make his debut from the start against Israel at Hampden Park on Friday night.

The Queens Park Rangers striker was only confirmed as having opted for Scotland over Australia, where he was born and grew up, last week. The 24-year-old, whose parents are both Scottish, is now in line to make his full debut in the Nations League clash against Israel after Oli McBurnie and Lawrence Shankland withdrew from the squad on Sunday evening.

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“He is certainly going to be up to speed,” said Reid. “Looking at his physique and frame he obviously looks after himself. It has obviously been a busy few weeks for him. But yes, he is in with a good shout of playing.

“We will assess it as the week goes on,” he added. “We are looking forward to seeing a little bit more of what we did this morning – that training performance was not like someone who was nervous and finding their feet. He hit the ground running and was bright and was a positive personality on the training pitch.”

Reid described Dykes as capable of worrying the best defenders in the world.

“I’ve personally been to a few of the games to watch him up at Livingston last season,” he said. “He gave some of the big boys a real difficult afternoon. We can only hope that he continues that in training and takes it into the game. There’s no doubt he will be getting games at some point in time – it’s assessing the strength and weaknesses of the opposition and choosing the right time. But yes, he is in with a good shout (v Israel). He has plenty to offer. Players like Lyndon, it is always going to be a difficult game for any defender - whether you are a top defender in the world or not. He is one of those physical attacking players that certainly towards the end of my career, when I was a defender, I hated playing against.”

Dykes himself has spoken for the first about the decision to opt for Scotland over Australia, where he was born and raised. He said he felt he owed it to Scotland, where his career has taken off since joining Queen of the South for a second spell from Gold Coast-based club Surfers Paradise Apollo in 2016.

He then moved on to Livingston, where his continued goalscoring form earned him a £2m move to English Championship club Queens Park Rangers earlier this month.

“Scotland gave me a chance in my career, really,” said Dykes. “Without this country, I wouldn’t be where I am in football. So that was a major thing in my head. From the get-go, I wanted to play for Scotland.

“My head was already with Scotland,” he added. “My parents are Scottish, my son was born in Scotland. The country gave me my chance in my career.

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“And I love being in Scotland, even though I’ve just moved to England. I’m still going to be travelling up here. The move to England came at a really good time and now we’ve got the international call-up, as well. It’s been a crazy last few weeks.”

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