Charlton Athletic manager Karl Robinson has challenged Tony Watt to prove he has the mentality to back up his talent after the striker returned to his parent club following an underwhelming five months at Hearts.
The 23-year-old has had his season-long loan at Tynecastle cut short after scoring only one goal in 17 appearances and falling out of the starting XI in recent months.
Watt will be given the chance to resurrect his Addicks career by recently-installed boss Robinson, who tried to sign him for MK Dons last year. However, first the forward must prove he has a genuine desire to silence those who have questioned his attitude ever since he made the breakthrough as a teenager with Celtic.
“What’s going to happen with Tony Watt, and I’ll tell you straight – he’s going to come here and I’m going to run the legs off him, and I’m going to make him sweat and make him cry, and I’m going to see whether he’s got the balls to play for me,” said Robinson. “There have been so many questions about Tony Watt’s mentality and desire but no-one will question his talent. I actually tried to sign him for MK Dons a year ago.”
Robinson insists he can help Watt become the best player in League One if he shows a willingness to apply himself properly at the South London club. “He has to come back and apologise for certain things, and he has to endear himself to the fans, and me, and the club,” said the manager. “If you want to play football, come to a club that’s going places, with great fans and great young players. Come with a great desire and application to be better and prove me wrong, Tony. Come and be the best player in the league. We’ve got to get him in for testing, and I’ll see from the tests whether he’s got the application to be here. I hope that’s clear enough.”