MANY have tried and just as many have failed when it comes to Tony Watt. A dozen, to be precise. The 26-year-old striker has gone through 12 clubs without ever making a home at any of them. Motherwell are the latest to extend a welcome with Stephen Robinson, the Fir Park manager, optimistic that he can be the one to coax out the unfulfilled promise of the striker.

Watt joined Motherwell last week as a free agent after leaving CSKA Sofia. He will remain at Fir Park for the latter half of the season but the onus is on the player to prove he has the required fortitude to see it out for longer and make a career in Lanarkshire.

“He turned down a heck of a lot more money than we’re paying to come here and that’s credit to him,” said Robinson.

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“He’s a local boy, he likes what he’s doing, I’m honest with him and I tell him the truth and he wants that. There’s no doubting his talent. If we can improve him and get him fitter it can be home.

“It’s a short-term deal to keep him motivated but I’m hoping it can turn into something more long-term. Also, sometimes when you bring a player in it kicks on others and hopefully that’s what Tony will do.

“At the minute some players think they might just play and that’s why they drop their standards. I brought a couple of players in in the summer and they raised other players’ games. Every time I bring a midfielder in Allan Campbell goes, ‘You’re not taking my place’.”

If Robinson is optimistic about the effect that Watt may have on those around him, he is equally buoyant about the impending return of David Turnbull. The Motherwell manager was reluctant to put a time frame on the return of the 20-year-old midfielder but he is enthused by the prospective lift that Turnbull will lend to those around him when he is back on the pitch.

The SPFWA Young Player of the Year last term, Turnbull was hit with the double disappointment of being sidelined for months due to knee surgery, a problem that was the catalyst for a £3.25m move to Celtic also collapsing.

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“Someone described it as having a lottery ticket and losing it,” said the Fir Park manager, who takes his team to McDiarmid Park this evening. “But the way he’s conducted himself has been fantastic. He’s never felt sorry for himself and his enthusiasm is still there.

“We’ve got a very good player in a few weeks or months. We’re holding him back for his own good and we won’t take any chances with him. He’s not ready for first-team action but it’s a fine sight to see - his quality oozes out of him and it excites me. How long till we see him? I don’t know.”