Lyndon Dykes is relishing a return to the solo shift that kickstarted his Scotland career.

With Che Adams ruled out with injury, the Queen’s Park Rangers forward is set to it alone in attack as Spain visit Hampden this evening. It is a role in which Dykes proved an instant hit when he first stepped onto the international stage back in 2020.

Prior to his debut against Israel, Steve Clarke’s forward line was an unsettled one, and it took Dykes’ emergence to bring some consistency which was later complemented by Adams. But with the latter unavailable, the ex-Livingston striker is ready to go it alone once more.

“I came in before Che and the sole striker role was the one I played,” he explained. “I think I’ve done pretty well since then with the goals I’ve scored and even the amount of assists I’ve got.

“Every time I come to Scotland I play with a smile on my face and a bit of freedom. I come away enjoying every game I play so that usually brings out the best in me. Hopefully I keep doing that.

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"I’m still trying to catch [John] McGinn so I need to score a few more goals. He’s got double my goals but he’s played double the number of games - I can still catch him.”

Dykes found himself warming the bench for Saturday’s Euro 2024 qualifying opener against Cyprus, but made a telling second-half contribution in a 3-0 win. Clarke later admitted the 27-year-old was probably irked not to start.

“I’m always professional,” Dykes insisted. “I want to play every game when I am away with Scotland. From the very first game I came away with the squad so many caps ago I always wanted to play.

“I wanted to come here and be the striker that Scotland needed and wanted. The manager picks the team at the end of the day and it is what it is. But if I am on the bench as long as I come on and make an impact like I did on Saturday and if I’m starting I want to make an impact from the very start.

“We have a great team bond especially with me and Shay and Jacob Brown and Shanks coming in now. There’s good competition but we are all close on and off the training ground.”

A Spain side placed 10th in the FIFA rankings are favourites to top Group A, and they issued an early statement in sweeping Norway aside 3-0 at the weekend. But while Dykes does not believe they will treat Scotland lightly, they may end up being taken aback by just how good they can be.

“They won’t be coming in thinking it’ll be easy,” he said. “But most teams when they come and play us get shocked with how good we actually are. A lot of the time we get underestimated in games then when people realise what we’ve been doing and building it hits them quick.

“What we’ve built together with the squad, that’s one of our main aspects because on the pitch it shows how much togetherness and how much of a team we are. Even throughout the whole squad if you are starting or not.

“We have to make sure it’s a tough game for Spain. We need to make sure it’s not easy and hopefully we get the result that helps us push on in the campaign.

READ MORE: Lyndon Dykes confident Scotland have what it takes to beat Spain

“I think it’s going to be a really good game, although I don’t know about my toughest one yet or biggest.

“But, obviously, with the full crowd behind us it’s a totally different feeling. We get that boost that we need and it gives you the extra confidence that you need to go into, especially a game against the likes of Spain.

“But at the same time, we need to make sure we bring that confidence – it doesn’t matter if it’s Spain or Cyprus or whoever we play.

“We have to make sure that we bring our game to it and we have to be positive and bring that attitude that we can win the game.

“We’ve shown that we can in the past and hopefully it’s another special night at Hampden.”