BILLY STARK is backing Gary Mackay-Steven to provide the service which will help Town hot-shot Jordan Rhodes destroy the Dutch.
BILLY STARK is backing Gary Mackay-Steven to provide the service which will help Huddersfield Town hot-shot Jordan Rhodes destroy the Dutch.
The Dundee United wideman is set to deputise for Celtic ace James Forrest, called up by the seniors for their game in Slovenia, when Scotland Under 21s take on Holland in Paisley on Wednesday.
Rhodes, who misses Town’s trip to Stevenage on Tuesday, will be aiming to add to his tally of six goals in as many appearances in the crucial qualifier for the 2013 European Championships.
And coach Stark, whose side beat Holland 2-1 in Nijmegen in November, when Rhodes was on target, said: “We want to play a particular way.
“We need to create chances, so we need players who can penetrate, and Mackay-Steven comes into that category.
“I know his background, from Ross County to Liverpool, where he suffered a bad injury and it didn’t quite happen for him, but he has bounced back.
“At Dundee United, he has produced a level of consistency which is unusual for a winger. He is positive and he wants to take people on, so he deserves his chance.”
Stark’s side sit one point behind leaders Holland in Group 10 and a tough test is expected at St Mirren’s ground.
“As far as Holland are concerned, the element of surprise has gone now and they will know what we are about,” added Stark.
“They are the favourites, but if we can get three wins from our four remaining games, I think it would be enough to get us to the play-offs.”
Scotland’s other qualifiers are in Bulgaria (Thursday, May 31), against Luxembourg at St Mirren (Thursday, September 6) and in Austria (Monday, September 10).
The 10 group winners and four best runners-up will take part in the play-offs to determine which seven sides will join hosts Israel in the finals.