Clarke pleased Dykes chose to play for Scotland after late winner

The manager praised his striker after scoring in four consecutive Scotland games.

Clarke pleased Dykes chose to play for Scotland after late winner Craig Williamson via SNS Group
Dykes scored a late winner against Faroe Islands.

Steve Clarke was pleased Lyndon Dykes opted for Scotland after the Australia-born striker scored a crucial late World Cup qualifying winner against the Faroe Islands.

It had been a struggle for the Scots in Torshavn until the QPR forward, born in Australia to Scottish parents who pledged his allegiance to the dark blue, scored in the 86th minute from a Nathan Patterson cross to take the Scots to within three points of a World Cup play-off spot.

Dykes became the first Scotland player to score in four successive international games since Colin Stein in 1969 and the first Scotland player to score in four consecutive international appearances in 26 years – the last was Scott Booth between 1994-95.

Scotland face bottom side Moldova away next month – Dykes is suspended after picking up another yellow card – and then runaway group winners Denmark at home in the final game.

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Asked about Dykes’ contribution, Clarke said: “He made a good choice, didn’t he, coming to play for us. I am pleased for Lyndon. I know what I get from Lyndon, I know what he brings the team.

“Sometimes he doesn’t get the credit he deserves but this run of games, the goals he has scored and the important points he is winning us is just part of the whole set-up, everyone wants to be successful and Lyndon is a big part of that.

“It was an important goal for us, no doubt about it. He is attacking that near post space well.

“It wasn’t dissimilar to the goal he got on Saturday (against Israel) when he got across the first defender and got the contact and went in.

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“I was a bit nervous waiting on the VAR but thankfully it fell on our side again.”

Clarke again urged caution ahead of the Moldova game where Scotland, despite a tepid display in the Faroe Islands, will be expected to complete the job.

He said: “We are in a good position but we worked hard to be in this position.

“It hasn’t come easy, it is difficult to win four in a row at any level, especially at international level so it is a big 12 points.

“We won’t take our eye off the ball, we know what we have to do next month and we will try to get the three points that secure second place and hopefully we can do it in Moldova and then we have Denmark at home.”