Hearts boss Robbie Neilson hails ex-Celtic striker Tony Watt as ‘something special’

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BY IAIN COLLIN –[email protected]_sport

ROBBIE Neilson has labelled Tony Watt ‘something special’ and insists all that is missing from his new recruit’s game is a first goal for Hearts.

The former Celtic striker has turned in some hugely impressive displays since arriving on a season-long loan from Charlton Athletic last month.

Despite Hearts knocking five past Inverness Caley Thistle at the weekend, however, the 22-year-old has yet to net for his new club.

(Pic: Twitter @32watto)
(Pic: Twitter @32watto)

But Neilson insists the Scotland cap’s all-round game and infectious enthusiasm is well appreciated by his team-mates and he is hopeful it will not be long before Watt breaks his duck.

He said: “He’s something special, he definitely is, and the players love him.

“He’s a great character to have about. He loves his football and he loves getting involved and getting on the ball, you can see that.

“We’re desperate to get him a goal. We kept him on (at the weekend) to try to get him that.

“But he sets them up for everyone else, he’s very unselfish.

“And we can see him getting to the levels we know he can get to.”

Winger Sam Nicholson outdid Watt with a double in the space of just a minute in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Inverness, despite starting the game on the bench.

The 21-year-old has been in and out of the team so far this season, starting two of three league games but being restricted to a substitute’s appearance in the Betfred Cup defeat to St Johnstone.

Burnt out

However, Neilson insists he is determined to be careful with the Scotland under-21 cap to get the best out of him after fearing he was used too much last term.

The Hearts head coach added to Hearts TV: “I was delighted for him, he’s a great player and he’s doing fantastically well here.

“Last season he started the season really well and we probably used him a little bit too much and he kind of burnt out a wee bit.

“But I can see him getting back to the levels he’s been at and we just need to make sure we manage him and keep him right for every game.”

@IainCollin

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