Tony Watt backed to ‘kickstart’ Dundee United scoring spree against former club Motherwell by Tam Courts

Tam Courts knows Tony Watt will reveal in being center stage as Public Enemy No.1 with the Motherwell support.

The striker controversially signed a pre-contract in December and then sealed an early move when Dundee United agreed to a six-figure fee to land him last month.

Watt arrived on Tayside as the Premiership’s top scorer but has still to open his account.

And his manager knows he will be desperate to open his account against his old team at Tannadice this evening.

Courts said: “Tony has made a big impact with his leadership, his personality and his assists.

“The thing now is probably getting him on the scoresheet and it can be funny how football unfolds, so he will be desperate to get that first goal against his old club.

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“Tony enjoys being center stage and having that pressure on his shoulders. We’ve seen that in his personality and the way he goes about leading within the team.

“So hopefully he can kickstart things for us against Motherwell.”

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A lack of goals has been a general theme for Dundee United this season. Their traveling fans turned against their team after the weekend’s goalless draw at struggling St Johnstone.

Courts know it wasn’t good enough and they need to do more in an attacking sense.

The carrot is there for them as they know a win could take them level fourth with Motherwell and the United boss said: “I can understand the fans’ frustration because we had so much possession last Saturday but couldn’t break St Johnstone down.

“The fans have been great with us. We had a very good start and when we didn’t win a few games they stuck by us.

“They want to see the team performing better and getting wins – they are frustrated, the players are frustrated and I’m frustrated.

“The league has become very compressed and I think over the next few weeks teams will go up and down in the race for the top six.

“It’s going to be an exciting run-in to the split now. From our point of view we have been very solid defensively and it’s now about getting the attacking side of it going now.”

The return of Liam Smith from long-term injury has been massive for United.

The full-back knows and accepts their is always a pressure at a big club like Dundee United and it is up to the players to shoulder that.

He has seen that since he has helped the club win promotion back to the Premiership.

Smith said: “You hear it but you can’t let it affect you.

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“You’ve got to carry out what you’re meant to do and if we do that properly then we’ll end up winning the game.

“The expectation at this club has always been there since I have come here. You feel it from the fans, you feel it from within. There is expectation to do well.

“The first season it was to win the Championship then after that you feel the expectation that the club want to be up the table as high as they can.

“We take that on and agree with it 100 per cent. If you look back there have been a few missed opportunities where we could have been more comfortably in the top six.

“On the positive side of it, a draw on Saturday took us sixth then if we win in midweek then we take another big step.

“Now we want to show we’re a top-six side and compete at the top end and these are the big games where we want to put on a big performance and win.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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