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Motherwell’s Tony Watt keen to keep repaying manager’s faith by upping fitness

Colraine v Motherwell – UEFA Europa League – Second Qualifying Round – Colraine Football Club
(Image credit: Brian Lawless)

Motherwell forward Tony Watt aims to discover his true potential after being pushed by his manager to up his fitness.

Watt did not start any of Motherwell’s first five league games with Stephen Robinson claiming he was not fit enough.

But the striker netted off the bench in their first victory of the season against Glentoran and has started the subsequent four matches, with Well winning three of them.

The former Celtic striker also scored at Coleraine last week and was handed special praise by Robinson for his work-rate after Motherwell’s 3-0 win at Aberdeen on Sunday.

The 26-year-old said: “That’s four out of five wins but I feel we have a lot more in our tank. I don’t think that’s the best we have got in our locker.

“Looking at the boys around me going into the battle I thought, I’m happy with what’s around me in terms of you would go to war for them, but you give them the ball and you expect it back because they have got a lot of quality.

“We’ve got a great mix and the manager is always on us to get more out of us because he knows what’s in us. Especially me, he has challenged me to get as fit as I can hopefully I can keep producing for him.

“He set me a challenge and told me when you get to this level (of fitness) then you’ve got a chance.”

Motherwell are Watt’s 12th club and he hopes to repay Robinson for handing him a contract after he left CSKA Sofia at the turn of the year.

“I just want to keep repaying him,” he said. “He and the club took me off the scrapheap after I made the choice to come back home from Bulgaria and gave me a chance so I need to repay them by performances.

“I did all right in Bulgaria when I played but I wasn’t happy being second fiddle. I came back and got myself fit after the lockdown and the manager has got me even fitter. It’s time to see Tony Watt I suppose, see where he goes.”

One way Watt could reward Robinson for his faith is by adding to his two goals in the Europa League when Motherwell face Hapoel Beer-Sheva on Thursday in Israel.

The victors will have a home play-off against Viktoria Plzen or Danish side SonderjyskE awaiting them.

Watt said: “We have two winnable ties and it’s going to be tough but we believe in ourselves.

“If we want to get on the ball we can do it, if we want to fight we can do it. We will see how they are and try and up our game to their level.”

Motherwell earned the trip to Israel after surviving two penalty awards and a red card against them in Coleraine.

“When you are playing European games you need to be a bit more calm, you can’t really go through them in terms of arms on them,” Watt said. “We just have to be smart.

“I think we will learn from the other night that you have to be a bit more streetwise.”