REACTION | Watt grateful to Addicks faithful for warm reception

George Jones reports

Tony Watt was grateful for the reception that the Charlton supporters gave him on Saturday and says that he is ready to try and spearhead the club’s push towards the play-offs.

The Scot, who spent the first half of 2016/17 closer to his family with Hearts in Scotland, was on the Addicks’ bench for the first this season for our local derby with Millwall.

He only had to wait 15 minutes to get onto the pitch, replacing the injured Josh Magennis, and upon entering the field he received a rousing reception from the Valley faithful.

In typical Watt style, he beat a couple of defenders shortly after his introduction. He then ran his socks off to help his side earn a point.

And, speaking to the media after the game, the 23-year-old said that the way the fans instantly made him feel at home again brought a smile to his face.

“The supporters have never been bad to me,” he said. “They’ve always been brilliant.

“I hope they realise that I want to be here and know what I can do. Every time I’ve stepped out onto that pitch, they’ve been fantastic with me. Hopefully it continues and it was nice to hear my name chanted again.”

He added: “I spoke to the gaffer during the week and I think the aim was more for 20-30 minutes. Obviously, it wasn’t in the best of circumstances that I came on with big Josh getting injured.

“He’s been vital for us but it was good for me to get some minutes under my belt so quickly. Sometimes when you’re not expecting it, it can be better for you.

“I knew our game plan, Millwall are a big, physical side and they know how to play, how to head the ball and how to play to their strengths.

“Big Josh gives us something different, he has been brilliant since he joined the club and I just tried to give my best and play my way.”

Watt’s temporary stint at Hearts was his third away from The Valley. Now, though, he believes that he is ready to knuckle down.

He said: “I’ve left for different reasons in the past. In the summer, I left for myself. I had to get back home. I didn’t deal with my injury as well as I could have because I’d never really been injured before.

“I wanted to be close to my family and it was good for me to get back, but now it’s time for me to get back here.

“London was never the problem. I found dealing with the injury difficult, especially as I’ve been away from home for five or six years in different countries.

“I felt that it was the right time to get back and get back into a comfort zone. For football, it wasn’t great but I needed to do it so that I can progress. If I hadn’t, then I may have been stuck in a rut.”

Watt has his eyes firmly set on a strong end to the season.

“It’s obviously been a bit topsy-turvy with the new gaffer coming in,” he said. “He’s not had his squad but he’s beginning to get that now. I hope that we can really challenge.

“I honestly believe that we can with this squad. It won’t be failure if we don’t go up – as the manager is only new into the job – but he might see it like that. He won’t be happy.”

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