Former Scotland striker Kris Boyd has told us that Lyndon Dykes is the man who can end Scotland’s 22-year wait for a spot at a major international tournament by beating Serbia and sending the country to Euro 2020. 

Boyd, who worked with national manager Steve Clarke at Kilmarnock, believes that the former Chelsea coach has instilled a belief and confidence that the national team are good enough to mix it with the best in international football.

“Performances over the last few camps have shown that Scotland can win games of international football. There’s been a lot of people critical of the way Scotland have been playing, but there’s only one way to silence them and that’s to win a game of football.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s penalties, extra time or if it isn’t a great performance. The most important thing is winning and that’s all that matters.

“It’s a big game against Serbia, but I think Scotland will go through. Will it be difficult? Of course. Getting to this stage of any competition means there will be difficult games.

“But the belief is there, and the confidence is there that they can win games of football. I’m sure the guys will be confident going there.

“There’s no greater motivation needed than potentially being the first Scottish squad to make an international tournament in 22 years. That’s the most important thing and for me, I can see Scotland qualifying.

Steve Clarke endured a rocky start to life as Scotland boss with heavy defeats to Russia and Belgium, but Boyd believes that his old boss has learned from those matches to build the foundations of a team that is one step away from reaching the European Championships next summer.

“It’s been a success. There’s obviously ups and downs, as every Scottish manager will tell you, but it’s all about how you respond to the lows.

“If you look at the start that the team had under Steve, you have to remember that he’s been used to a managerial career that has been about winning so he was hurting as well.

“In Scotland, after a couple of bad performances and results, you can be really, really low. But he would’ve seen a lot of things within the group that he could’ve worked on to change that into a positive for the upcoming camos after losing.

“But they’ve bounced back and to go eight games unbeaten is a terrific run.”

Boyd said he could tell from day one that Clarke’s management style was going to be a success from the pair’s time at Rugby Park.

“On the coaching side, he’s magnificent. Every single thing you can think of, he works on.

“A lot of people might say that all Kilmarnock did was sit in, but it was worked on every day and we still won games of football from being in an organised shape. We also worked on counter attacking once we’d broken teams down.”

And Clarke has helped lift the performances of Scottish players in the international set-up, in Boyd’s opinion.

“The obvious one would be Declan Gallagher who was terrific the last three internationals. Defensively, he was a big part of why Scotland won those games.

“Being a striker, I’ve also got to say Lyndon Dykes. A lot of people, myself included, would’ve questioned ‘can he step up and lead the line for the national team?’

“He’s definitely shown up all of us (who questioned him). I think the way he’s led the line and brought team mates in to play from an attacking point of view, but defensively he’s the one who starts the press and I think the guys in defence would say that he’s been a big part of what we’ve been trying to do at Scotland.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Lyndon Dykes is the one who can fire us into to Euro 2020.”

Boyd is under no illusions of the pressure that the players will be under, but says that they can become legends and start to change the country’s perception about reaching international tournaments.

“It would be massive (to reach the Euros). We’ve been part of a failed generation. There’s a lot of people out there who have never seen Scotland at a major international tournament. The problem with the country is people say, ‘well we never qualify anyway’.

“To be able to qualify and change the mindset of the way people look at Scotland…these guys are on the verge of being legends. For not being at a major tournament for 22 years, to get Scotland there would have a big impact on grassroots football and let kids look at them as national heroes.

“Growing up looking at Scotland players – for me it was Ally McCoist – it’s important for younger people to be able to look up at players in the national team and say, ‘I want to be them’.”

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