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Tony Watt reckons Dundee United finish has silenced ‘backwards step’ snipers

Vindicated: Watt
Vindicated: Watt

Tony Watt reckons Dundee United’s fourth-place Premiership finish has silenced the critics who suggested his switch from Motherwell was a ‘sideways or backwards’ move.

Watt, 28, joined the Tannadice outfit in January following a sensational first half of the campaign with the Steelmen, notching 10 goals.

At the time of the transfer, the Fir Park side occupied fourth spot in the Premiership, six points ahead of United in seventh — ensuring the decision raised plenty of eyebrows.

However, the Tangerines’ 2-1 win over Ross County on Saturday, allied with Motherwell’s 6-0 capitulation at Celtic, saw United leapfrog their Lanarkshire rivals on the final day.

Watt has been a pivotal part of the United side.

“The only criticism I got was: this was a backward or sidewise move,” said Watt. “But I think we’re proving that’s not the case.

“It was a gamble — them paying a fee for me — but it’s paying off.

“I’ve not been scoring as much [compared to Motherwell spell] but I know I am impacting on games and creating chances for my team-mates.

“I would just like to get a few more chances. But if we’re scoring, I’m happy.

“That’s me playing in Europe three out of four seasons — CSKA Sofia (2019/20), Motherwell (2020/21) and United — and that’s an achievement.

“I want to play at the highest level, and I am playing for a club I’m really happy at. I can’t complain.”

Twilight years

Despite finding the net once since arriving at Tannadice, Watt’s impact in the United side has been tangible; dropping deeper, grafting tirelessly and contributing far more to the build-up play.

Tony Watt scored his only United goal to date against Motherwell, pictured.

“I’ll maybe need to say I’m not a striker but more of an attacking midfielder so I can get away with not scoring as many,” smiled the former Celtic and Hearts marksman. “Maybe I’m turning into a playmaker in my twilight years!”

Whether as a creative force or a traditional goal-getter, Watt is already looking ahead to next season — and the need to build upon a fine Premiership placing and European qualification.

“I didn’t come here for just six months,” added Watt. “I came here for three-and-a-half years. Now we’ve got to try and make a wee impact in Europe and continue progressing.

“We want to be strong domestically and we want to be strong in Europe.”

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