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Lyndon Dykes reassured by Scotland boss Steve Clarke the goals will come – ideally at Wembley

Czech Republic goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik claws the ball away under pressure from Lyndon Dykes. Picture by SNS.
Czech Republic goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik claws the ball away under pressure from Lyndon Dykes. Picture by SNS.

Striker Lyndon Dykes has been reassured the goals will come for Scotland, ideally against England at Wembley.

The 2-0 Euro 2020 loss to Czech Republic was the ninth consecutive international QPR centre-forward Dykes has failed to score in.

Despite that goal drought, boss Steve Clarke is set to retain faith in the 25-year-old to lead the attack in London on Friday.

Dykes was denied a goal in Scotland’s first match at a major tournament by two superb saves by Czech keeper Tomas Vaclik.

Clarke has given the former Livingston striker a vote of confidence and reassured him that he will find the back of the net soon for his country.

Lyndon Dykes with Steve Clarke as the striker is substituted against the Czech Republic.

Clarke said: “All I say to Lyndon is ‘just keep getting into those positions big man because eventually the goals will start coming.’

“Is it confidence?

“I don’t know.

“With strikers it’s about getting into the positions.

“They’ll all go through a run of games where they’re scoring quite regularly.

“Like Lyndon did at the end of last season.

“Then they go through little patches when the ball doesn’t quite fall for them and hit the back of the net.

“But Lyndon has a good mentality so he’ll keep getting in there.”

Scotland’s Lyndon Dykes (left) battles with Tomás Vaclík as the ball looped towards goal.

Why Clarke didn’t start with Dykes and Che Adams in Euro 2020 opener

Dykes finished his club season strongly with six goals in the final eight Championship games at QPR.

Southampton striker Che Adams also finished his club season positively and netted in the 1-o defeat of Luxembourg when in a partnership with Dykes.

That was the final warm-up game before the Euro 2020 opener.

Lyndon Dykes (R) has another effort saved by Tomas Vaclik. Picture by SNS.

Clarke insists it was a “big decision” not to go with Dykes and Adams in a strike partnership from the start against Czech Republic.

Instead, he opted to go with Ryan Christie as support to Dykes.

Adams came on at half-time for Christie.

On not starting Adams, Clarke said: “Every decision you make is a big decision.

“You make decisions with the best intentions and that’s what we did.

“I don’t think Che would have made too much difference in the first-half, because we didn’t get quality ball into the strikers.

“When we lost the goal just before half-time, I had a fair idea the game would open up.

“That allowed Che to show his talents.

“However, we did miss some decent chances to at least get the 2-1, which at least puts them under pressure.

“Then you never know what’s going to happen after that.”

Criticism of David Marshall unfair

Keeper David Marshall has come in for criticism for his role in the Czech’s second as he was left stranded outside his penalty area when Patrik Schick unleashed a magnificent 49-yard shot into the goal.

There have been various memes circulating on social media of Marshall scrambling back and tumbling into the net.

Clarke insists it is grossly unfair on the keeper – but insists the criticism will not affect him.

Scotland keeper David Marshall can only watch as Patrik Schick's shot flies into the back of the net.
Scotland keeper David Marshall can only watch as Patrik Schick’s shot flies into the back of the net.

He said: “David is fine. An experienced player, knows the game.

“He has probably faced that type of shot I think he would say about 50 times in his career.

“That is the only time it has gone in – it happens.

“I don’t understand the criticism of David

“It was a shot from Jack Hendry at the edge of the box and three seconds later the ball is in the back of our net.

“That blocked shot can go anywhere and it fell perfectly for him to run on and hit.

“It is one of these things.”

David Marshall crashes into the back of the net.

Clarke says he can’t protect players from social media

Clarke accepts that if players want to scour social media and read the criticism in the aftermath of a game that is ultimately their prerogative.

The bottom line though is that he cannot protect them from criticism.

All the Scots can do is regroup, use their unity, and bounce back against England.

He said: “If they want to go online and read what has been written then I can’t shield them.

“Listen, everyone wants to analyse things and go over and over and over what happened.

“But that’s what we have to do.

“My job is to look at the performance.

“If you don’t just look at the result, if you are honest and you look at the game, as we do, there is a lot to take out of the game.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke.

“We weren’t clinical enough for sure, but we created enough chances.

“This is a group of players that are determined to do well for their country.

“We have shown that over the last number of games and will continue to do that.

“We want to keep working, learning and keep getting better.

“That is what we will strive to do.

“Sometimes you have to take a negative result and then you have to bounce back.

“Hopefully we come back stronger.”

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