LYNDON Dykes believes a Highlands boot camp with former Scotland forwards Billy Dodds and Neil McCann will ensure he is in perfect shape to fire the national team through to the knockout rounds at Euro 2020.

Dykes has been working with Steve Clarke’s squad in Spain since last Thursday evening and is hoping to be involved in the pre-tournament friendly against the Netherlands in Portugal on Wednesday evening.

But the Australia-born forward, who was a revelation for the national team after pledging his international allegiances to the land of his parents’ birth last year and started in the play-off semi-final and final, got his preparations underway long before flying to La Finca on Thursday.

The Queens Park Rangers forward’s representatives arranged for him to travel to the Highlands to take part in some training sessions and enjoy some down time with Dodds, McCann and Inverness Caledonian Thistle legend Barry Wilson. 

He enjoyed picking the brains of the trio about their careers and hearing their thoughts on his game and is confident the experience will prove invaluable in future – including in the Group D matches against the Czech Republic, England and Croatia next month. 

“I had a couple of weeks off as I’d finished a bit earlier in the Championship,” he said. “Neil McCann started working with my agency so I went up there for a week and trained with Neil, Billy Dodds and Barry Wilson. It was really good just to get their experience.

“I really enjoyed it. I haven’t really had much of it in my career. Billy Dodds was a striker and I tried to take on as much as I could. Neil and Barry were great players as wingers and a lot of it was in an attacking sense, with a bit of fitness as well.

“I couldn’t really fault that, because I was lucky enough they’d taken time off to help me out. I always stay sharp, but it was a great opportunity. They were great players and gave me a lot of tips. Neil and Doddsy both played for Scotland as well.

“The other boys were still playing in their seasons so I really enjoyed it. I think they’ll take a lot of credit if I score!

“We spoke about their careers, stories about what they’ve done and what they’ve been watching in myself. It was good to recharge and get away from everyone, make sure I was focused on football. We played a bit of golf and I got to enjoy some downtime as well.

“It was a good trip – the three of them really helped me out and I’m sure I’ll keep in touch with them for a long time.”

Dykes was impressed with the performances of Che Adams in the Qatar 2022 qualifiers against Austria, Israel and the Faroe Islands in March and is keen to partner the Southampton striker in the Scotland attack again in the coming weeks.  

“He’s a great player to come in,” he said. “We played as a two in the last game we played together. I really enjoyed it. He’s brought a lot of Premier League experience in the striking department to the team.

“It’s something I can feed off. I like playing in a two as well. He’s a great player. Everyone is fighting for their positions. I’m fighting as well. He’s a great addition to the squad because the squad is very good right now.
“We’ve got a lot of versatility. If we need to change it at anytime we can change it because of the players we have. I’ve always said the squad we have is amazing. The squad we do have we should be pushing for major things.

“Now we’re getting that attacking side and we can score goals as well. The more we train and stick together, we’re only going to improve.”