Watt will shine

Conor Sammon thinks Hearts strike partner Tony Watt is maturing into a Scotland striker of the future.

The former Celtic protege has made an encouraging start to his Tynecastle loan switch after parent club Charlton allowed him to return to Scotland to be nearer his family.

And Sammon believes those home comforts are allowing the 22-year-old to finally show his true worth.

Watt has been criticised by previous managers like Neil Lennon for his poor work rate in training but according to his Irish colleague he is know knuckling down under the tutelage of Robbie Neilson.

Now Sammon says Watt – a late call-up to Gordon Strachan’s squad for last week’s World Cup qualifier against Malta – can earn himself a permanent slot if he finds a way to add to the one goal he has managed for the Jambos so far.

Sammon said: “I can’t speak about what he has done in the past but from the first day I’ve seen him at the training ground he’s shown a real desire to do well and to make a success of his time at Hearts.

“I think he and I are a good fit together. He likes to drop in between midfield and up front, which suits me because I want to play in behind and stretch the game.

“We’ve already seen the ability that Tony has and I think our partnership will only grow because we’re still only at the early part of the season.

“The signs are very good and I’m enjoying playing alongside him.

“I think the move here has been refreshing for him. He’s had a similar time to myself over the last couple of years in that he’s moved around from club to club. He’s been abroad too which is another huge experience but I’m sure for him it’s quite pleasing to be back closer to home, to get an opportunity to play games.

“That will only benefit him and it’s only a matter of time before he starts scoring goals consistently.

“He has been going from club to club but now he wants to show people what he can do. In the past at such a young age he has shown some glimpses of real quality and talent. Now he’s at an age where he wants to show that on a consistent basis.

“It will have been a great experience for him linking up with the national team recently and that gives him even more motivation to do well in a Hearts jersey so that next time his name is in there.”

Hearts can temporarily move themselves top of the Ladbrokes Premiership if they can beat St Johnstone in Perth on Saturday.

But that is a feat the Gorgie men have not managed in the Fair City since 2011.

However, Sammon admits revenge is on his mind after Saints ended Hearts’ Betfred Cup hopes last month.

He said: “St Johnstone beat us in the cup and that does fuel us to go there looking to put it right.

“I heard a stat saying Hearts hadn’t won there in about five years, which is crazy. But now we have a chance to go there and change that record.”

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