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JOHN HUGHES last night challenged Densill Theobald to kick-start his Falkirk career and win a ticket to the World Cup.


The Trinidad and Tobago midfielder joined the Bairns on an 18-month deal from Caledonia AIA in his homeland last month after a glowing recommendation by player-coach Russell Latapy.

Theobald,23, was tipped to be a star and manager Hughes even compared the playmaker with former Manchester United hero Dwight Yorke.

But he has failed to make a single first-team appearance and his lack of action prompted national manager Leo Beenhakker to leave him out of the squad for a friendly against Iceland at Loftus Road on February 28.

His omission, along with St Johnstone's Jason Scotland and Kelvin Jack of Dundee, has sparked fears the trio may not make the final squad for the World Cup in Germany this summer.

Hughes believes Theobald - capped 34 times - has struggled to find his feet in his new surroundings and had talks with the player to help him settle.

Now the Bairns boss hopes he can quickly prove his worth as the club seek to retain their SPL status and claim a Scottish Cup semi-final berth with a win over Hibs next weekend.

Hughes said: "Densill is still settling into his digs and his surroundings but I want more from him as he has yet to play in the team.

"I spoke with him about what we expect from him - it was only fair that I did that. He is a nice football player, fantastic at times with a great left and right foot, but I had to have a word with him.

"I told him what we want out of him and asked him to bring that into his training. It will increase his chance of getting into the team.

"He is on the fringes and I'm asking him to make sure he gets on the bench then into the first team. He needs to be playing because he could have a very big summer ahead of him."