Lyndon Dykes says shaving his hair is a symbol he is ready to take Scotland into battle in their bid to reach the last-16 of Euro 2020.
Scotland need a victory over Croatia at Hampden Park on Tuesday, which will likely be enough for Steve Clarke’s men to reach the knockout stages of a major finals for the first time in national team history.
The Scots claimed their first point of their Group D campaign on Friday when they held England, who are among the tournament favourites, to a 0-0 draw at Wembley.
In the build up to the Auld Enemy encounter Dykes opted to execute a clean cut of his hair, with the forward insisting the battle lines are drawn ahead of the crunch encounter.
Dykes said: “I just shaved it off before the England game.
“It was a big game for us and the boys know that, when they see me with the shaved head, we mean business.
“I went in and got a straight zero on the clippers.
“The boys loved it, because they knew it meant we were going to turn up.
“I first did it for the Serbia game and I did it again before England.
“I do it myself, just get the clippers out.
“Before the Serbia game big Declan Gallagher did it for me. Just before the pre-match, he came to my room and shave it all off. I like to mix it up.
“I did mention the idea of everyone doing the same thing. Imagine the entire starting line-up coming out all with heads shaved down to zero – I think anyone would be scared.
“A few of the boys have got bad hairlines so they weren’t too keen. I think this cut should last a bit. I can’t really do too much with it now.
“Hopefully it gives us a bit of luck, but it’s really a sign, something that shows we’re going out to fight.
“When the boys see I’ve done this, they know it means we’re going to war.”
Dykes was born and raised in Australia to Scottish parents, with the 25-year-old revealing his upbringing has given him a strong insight into the task that awaits against Croatia.
The Queens Park Rangers forward is familiar with the Gold Coast Knights, an Australian club founded by Croatian migrants in 1978 who continue to be steeped in Croat heritage.
Dykes is preparing for a tough duel at Hampden, with Dejan Loveren and Domagoj Vida among the defenders he could come up against.
He added: “I think they are going to be solid. Back in Australia I have a few people who are Croatian that I know and they are always big tough guys, quite solid. It will be a good battle.
“They will be a top class, a great team, so we just have to go in with a lot of confidence and I’m sure if we turn up again we can get a good result.
“I know a lot of people at Gold Coast Knights. I never actually played for them but I have a lot of friends there.
“They are a proud group – very tough and determined to win and they love football.
“They have a big support out in Australia as well. I played against them a few times. I was at Merrimac and Surfers Paradise and I played against them a few times.
“They were always good teams to watch to be fair because they had such a good support. A few of the old boys I knew as well, the old Croatians.
“The president, who owns the club, Adrian Puljich, I know him as well. I have a lot of Croatian friends and a lot of Serbian ones as well, so a lot of the Serbs have been in touch. They want me to beat the Croats.”
Dykes’ expectation of a physical tussle is one he relishes, adding: “I am not intimidated at all. Whoever I come up against I will be putting in my best. I grew up playing rugby, I’d get stuck in there. Whatever happens happens, whoever it is I am going in and trying to get the better of them.
“I played full back in rugby league. I used to get stuck in there, and all the big boys just try and smash them.”