Tony Watt: Much-travelled striker targets Scotland return

Tony Watt
Tony Watt hopes to add to his solitary Scotland cap, which came in Prague last May

Tony Watt insists he can force his way back into the Scotland set-up ahead of the final 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The Charlton striker, 23, made his international debut off the bench in the friendly win over Czech Republic in March 2016.

But in his next outing, the former Celtic forward injured his groin while on loan at Blackburn Rovers, curtailing his international involvement.

"I know I can get there, I know I was pushing at the doors," Watt said.

Watt was on loan at Hearts at the start of season 2016-17 but scored just once for the Scottish Premiership side before returning to the Valley in January. He netted twice for the Addicks in March to take his season's tally to three.

"Last season was just a bump in the road, in my eyes," explained Watt. "I might not have had the best of seasons, but after an injury you are bound to take a dip.

"I have rectified that this summer by not taking as long a break and getting myself as fit as possible, because last summer I never had that. I missed the first three weeks training, so I was behind by maybe six or seven weeks.

"I know I can get there - it is just about me showing people. I love proving people wrong and so hopefully I can do it. I need to set myself a target. If I can be involved in one of those [Scotland] qualifying squads then I can kick on.

Leigh Griffiths
Leigh Griffiths curled home two free-kicks as Scotland came within minutes of beating England on Saturday

"I am 23, I am still a young guy and I have a lot ahead of me."

Watt enjoyed watching the national team draw 2-2 with England at Hampden Park on Saturday - a result which maintained hopes of reaching the finals in Russia - with fellow striker Leigh Griffiths netting two fine free-kicks.

But the experience reminded Watt, who shot to prominence as an 18-year-old when he scored in Celtic's 2012 Champions League win over Barcelona, of his desire to re-engage with the national side.

Strachan's men have four crucial Group F qualifiers before the end of the year, beginning with a trip to Lithuania, and the visit to Hampden of Malta in September.

"On Saturday I was thinking I need to get back there," he said. "After my international debut I played four minutes in my next game before I ripped my groin, so how is that for luck?

"I am not a jealous person, or bitter person. I was buzzing for Griff when he scored the goals. I was buzzing at 2-1 and was sad when it was 2-2.

"The gaffer showed faith in me as well so I was buzzing for him at 2-1 and even at 2-2 because that is an amazing result.

"The gaffer has called me up a few times so I know I need to show him what I can do and hopefully he is there for a long time so I can do that."

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