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Gary Holt backs Lyndon Dykes to make an impact with Scotland

Livingston v Celtic – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Tony Macaroni Arena
(Image credit: Graham Stuart)

Livingston manager Gary Holt has backed Lyndon Dykes to grasp his international opportunity with Scotland.

The striker was included in Steve Clarke’s squad for the Nations League games against Israel and Czech Republic next month after choosing his parents’ native land over his own birthplace, Australia.

The first call-up came a week after Dykes completed a move from Livi to QPR and he will be joined in the squad by his former Tony Macaroni Arena team-mate, Robby McCrorie.

Holt was delighted to see both players called up and learn that Dykes had plumped for Scotland following approaches from two countries.

The former Scotland midfielder said: “We had many chats about it and obviously my Scotland hat maybe took over to an extent, but I also said it was his decision and we would back him no matter what he chose. But if he chose the right way I’d be really happy.

“But no, it’s not a decision you can take lightly. It does have a massive impact on you.

“He’s got the opportunity, now can he go and take it? I firmly believe he can do and I firmly believe he won’t let the country down.

“I think Steve and the staff will enjoy working with him as much as we did. He’s got a freshness about him, he just wants to go and play football.

“Give him a jersey, he will put a shift in for you and you know what you’re getting. The other players will bounce off that as well because they know if they put the ball up there, nine times out of 10 it will stick, or he will make something happen because he is prepared to put in the hard yards.

“I’m sure the big man will go and embrace it, he doesn’t shirk a challenge and go into his shell because he’s a confident lad.

“Everyone connected with the club, including myself, is delighted to see him get a call-up.”

On-loan Rangers goalkeeper McCrorie was called up after 12 top-flight appearances for Livingston.

“It’s brilliant for Robby,” Holt said. “When he first came in at January it was a wee bit of the unknown because he had played at Championship level and this was the step up.

“He probably had misgivings about whether he belonged here, whereas when we re-signed him in the summer he came in like a man, ‘this is the arena I am comfortable with’.

“His performances have been really good and now he’s getting the opportunity to showcase himself with the national team. It’s another feather in the cap of the staff.”

Meanwhile, recent signing Anthony Stokes could make his debut against Ross County on Saturday despite lacking match fitness.

“Hopefully he will be involved in some capacity this weekend,” Holt said.