Stark praises duo

Under-21 boss hopes the winger and forward can punish the Dutch

James Forrest: Has attracted attention from Premier League Tottenham

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Scotland Under-21 manager Billy Stark is eager to see Jordan Rhodes and James Forrest combine when his side travel to Holland later this month.

Celtic winger Forrest has four full international caps and Huddersfield striker Rhodes was named in Craig Levein's senior squad for next week's friendly in Cyprus.

Stark hopes the duo can help to end Holland's 100 per cent record in the European U21 Championship qualifying Group 10 on November 14th.


"James has got a few strings to his bow but he's certainly as close to a winger as we have in Scotland," Stark said.

"He can provide crosses and we know that Jordan is good in the air. That sounds like quite a good mix."

Levein revealed Stark had 'pleaded' with him to make Forrest available to the U21s who are unbeaten in second place behind Holland following two draws and a win.

Stark, however, warned against placing too much expectation on the Celtic winger whose recent performances have reportedly attracted the attention of Tottenham.

"If Craig had felt he'd needed James for Cyprus he'd have been there," Stark added.

"But he was good enough to allow him to join us. We have to be careful from that point of view that he's not looked on as a saviour.

"He's a young lad that's done particularly well for the youth levels and now he's doing it both for his club and for the full international team.

"All he needs to do is keep doing what he's been doing. He'll need the help of 10 or 13 others in the game on Monday night, there's no doubt about that."


Rhodes will be looking to extend a run of five goals in the last two U21 games in Nijmegen.

Oldham-born Rhodes, who qualifies for Scotland through the five-year schooling rule, has scored a total of 14 goals in his last seven games.

Following Scotland's November 11th friendly in Larnaca, he will immediately join up with the U21s.

"The goalscoring ratio that he has is as good as anything I can remember. He's been doing that at a decent level and he has been for a couple of years," Stark added.

"He's shown he can score at international level for us. Hopefully he can continue that."