Bristol City striker Tommy Conway plays waiting game as Scotland boss ponders Euro 2024 decision

Bristol City striker Tommy Conway is having to wait to discover whether he’s earned a late call-up to Scotland’s provisional Euro 2024 squad as manager Steve Clarke mulls over the decision to replace Lyndon Dykes.

QPR frontman Dykes has been ruled out of the European Championships following an ankle injury sustained in training on Friday leaving Clarke with just two fit senior centre forwards in Hearts’ Lawrence Shankland and Che Adams of Southampton, with Liverpool talent Ben Doak more of a wide option.

Conway is currently with the U21 squad in Istanbul ahead of their friendly against Turkey later today and is an obvious candidate to fill the spot vacated by Dykes.

Clarke has previously indicated in the event of pre-tournament injuries he will turn to the U21 set-up rather than call up somebody externally but speaking ahead of Scotland’s friendly against Gibraltar, the 60-year-old indicated he’s yet to make a final call.

"I've given myself two or three days just to think about it,” Clarke said. "There is no like-for-like replacement for Lyndon because he brings his own qualities. I don't really believe in like for like. Lyndon brings his qualities, obviously we haven't got them. I will have a little look at what's around, I will decide what to do with the squad and we will go from there."

Conway was omitted from Clarke’s original 28-man provisional squad announced on May 22, which included City teammate Ross McCrorie, and instead selected for the 21s, where he has made six appearances since his debut in 2022.

He is by far the most experienced among the quartet of forwards in Scott Gemmill’s group, alongside former Robins loanee Dire Mebude, Kieron Bowie of Northampton Town and Dundee’s Michael Mellon.

The Taunton-born striker, who qualifies for Scotland through his grandfather Danny, trained with the senior squad last summer and is very much on Clarke’s radar but the decision not to originally pick him indicates the manager still views him as one for the future.

That may now have to change following Dykes’ injury as, although Conway is a different type of forward to the 28-year-old’s more physical approach, he brings pace and a penalty box threat having found the target 12 times in the 2023/24 campaign, matching his total from the previous season.

"Possibly, but not necessarily, that's what I would do," Clarke added, when asked about the prospect of looking to the U21 set-up for reinforcements. "It's something that we think about all the time. We like to have a connection with the Scottish young team.

"I like to show there is a pathway to the A squad from the Under-21s. But obviously you have got to consider all options and that's what I will do."

The other realistic contenders Clarke could turn to are Southampton’s Ross Stewart, who has been injured for most of the season, or Ryan Hardie of Plymouth Argyle and Millwall’s Kevin Nisbet, or he could even elect to stay with the 27 players he’s working with, as that number then has to be trimmed to 26 by June 7.

Scotland kick off Euro 2024 on June 14 with the tournament curtain-raiser against hosts Germany in Munich with Switzerland and Hungary also in their group.

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