Liam Cooper hopes injured Lyndon Dykes stays with Scotland 

Dykes has been ruled out of Euro 2024 after a training ground injury.

Liam Cooper hopes injured Lyndon Dykes stays with Scotland in some capacity SNS Group

Scotland defender Liam Cooper hopes Lyndon Dykes will stay with the squad in some capacity despite being ruled out of Euro 2024.

The QPR striker suffered an ankle injury in training on Friday and will not be part of Steve Clarke’s 26-man squad.

“First and foremost we are devastated for Lyndon,” Cooper said. “You guys get to see the best of him on the pitch but we also get to see the best of him in and around the place.

“He’s funny, he is bubbly, all the lads take to him. Obviously he’s got that Australian twang as well so he gets a bit of stick about that. He’s a great friend to us all, an important member of the squad and to hear that news was devastating.

“Obviously whatever we say to him right now is going to be difficult for him. Over time he will process that and hopefully he can be involved in some capacity.

“I don’t know what he will want to do, I’ve not spoken to him about that right now. But I’m sure as the days pass he can get a bit of clarity in his mind, I’m sure he would like to be, in some capacity, part of the squad.

“We just wish him a speedy recovery. It’s a very important member of the squad that we have lost. But first and foremost we have got to give him some space to process what’s happened.

“It’s a heart-breaking time for him. I know he has worked really hard since the Championship season finished to get himself in top condition physically.

“This is football. It can be harsh at times but I just hope he knows we are thinking of him. He is such an important player for us and he will be missed very much.”

Scotland had lost Lewis Ferguson, Nathan Patterson and Aaron Hickey before the squad was picked and others appear to have shaken off injury scares.

However, Cooper believes they have to put the risk of others missing the European Championship finals out of their mind.

Speaking ahead of Scotland’s warm-up game against Gibraltar at the Estadio Algarve near Faro, the Leeds player said: “Players are always conscious but I don’t think you can let that set in too much.

“We are training at such a high intensity and we have got to drive that intensity and those standards from within. I’m a big believer that you have to train how you play to get the best out of yourself and and we certainly need to do that.

“If you start thinking about injuries and maybe not going into certain duels, I think you put yourself at more of a risk. There’s a fine line.

“Hopefully we don’t have any more of those freak accidents and we don’t lose any more players because it’s been gutting for the lads.

“Lyndon came down to see us. It could have been any one of us. You put yourself in Lyndon’s shoes and I can’t imagine how he is feeling right now.”

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