BILLY STARK believes Jordan Rhodes can help bring some of the feel-good factor back to Scottish football with another goalscoring show in Luxembourg tonight.
Blackburn’s former Town star (pictured left) scored a hat trick on his last appearance at the Josy Barthel Stadium for the Under 21s 13 months ago.
His haul in the 5-2 European Championship qualifying win was part of an amazing run of 14 goals in six games for club and country.
Rhodes also grabbed trebles at Exeter and at home to Preston, helping him towards a final Town tally of 40 last season as the club won promotion via the League I play-offs.
The Holme Valley-based ace notched 87 Town goals in all, two of them this season, before his £8m switch across the Pennines.
He has chalked up six in 13 outings for the East Lancashire side, one of them in the 2-2 draw against Town in Huddersfield last week.
Stark, interim Scotland manager following the departure of Craig Levein after a dismal start to the World Cup qualifying programme, doesn’t want to put pressure on Rhodes.
But he worked with him at Under 21 level (the former Ipswich player registered eight goals in as many games) and knows how calm and collected he is in front of goal.
Stark said of the player who won two full caps and scored his first senior goal for the Scots while with Town: “I well remember his hat trick in Luxembourg for the Under 21s.
“When you are dealing with bigger countries that are producing the absolute top players then you can maybe hang your hat on them at an early age.
“With Jordan there are lots of things to look at in terms of the all-round package of whether he’s going to be a national team player for the next 10 years.
“The one thing with him is if he gets a chance, he normally takes it.
“The way he sees it, a chance is a chance. It doesn’t matter what game you are playing in, who it’s against or where it is.
“That’s because of his temperament. It’s not ‘Oh we’re playing Spain, it’s a different chance’. He will just do what he normally does in Luxembourg.
“It’s the same thing to him. Jordan’s got lots of things to improve on, he knows that himself, but he’s had a start against Australia and he scored and deserves to be involved tonight.”
Rhodes, whose first cap came as a substitute in the 2-1 friendly win in Cyprus a year ago, came off the bench in Scotland’s opening qualifiers against Serbia and Macedonia in September.
Both were at Hampden and both finished in draws, with Levein criticised by fans for failing to name him in the starting side.
Injury meant the former manager didn’t get the chance to do that for the 2-1 loss in Wales and 2-0 defeat in Belgium last month.
Stark can also call on Town left-back Paul Dixon, who shone in the clashes with Serbia and Macedonia but was left out for last month’s double header.