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Motherwell striker Kevin van Veen joked that journalists thought he was on the whisky when he revealed the goal targets he realised to become a player of the year candidate.

The 31-year-old Dutch forward, who joined Well from Scunthorpe in 2021, is the only non-Celtic player among the four nominees for the PFA Scotland Premiership player of the year award.

Van Veen is on the shortlist alongside the title-winning Hoops trio of Reo Hatate, Kyogo Furuhashi and last season’s winner Callum McGregor.

Van Veen has scored 25 goals this term for the eight-placed Steelmen, including 13 in his last 12 games, and is currently joint second-highest scorer in the top flight, alongside Hearts’ Lawrence Shankland, with 21 to his name.

Furuhashi has notched 30 goals in all competitions and sits top of the Premiership scoring charts with 24.

Van Veen said: “I always believed in myself. That’s why I said last year when journalists came to the club, ‘I am going to chase the top scorers in this league’ and I have done it this year.

“No, they definitely did not (believe him). They probably thought this was just a random Motherwell striker talking, had a whisky in the morning and he is probably not all there.

“I said it because I believed in myself. I know what I am capable of. I am just very happy that I have shown people what I am capable of and what I can do.”

Van Veen still has another year on his contract and asked about the speculation around his future he said. “I can’t say anything other than I am focused on Motherwell.

“I love playing for the club, they gave me a platform to show what I can do.

“But if the club gets a very good transfer sum in the summer, I am willing to help the club.

“It doesn’t mean I want to leave but if everyone is happy and everyone thinks it is the right thing then we need to sit round the table and see what’s best for the player and the club. We have to see what will happen.”

On his nomination, Van Veen said: “I am very happy. To get recognition from the players you have played against, it shows I have done something to impress them.

“I think the other three nominees are sensational players, it is a pretty good achievement for myself.”