TONY Watt has admitted he is excited about what Motherwell can achieve under “results machine” Graham Alexander next season after watching the Scotland internationalist transform the Fir Park club’s fortunes this year.

Watt, who netted a late equaliser to force extra-time in the Scottish Cup quarter-final against Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday evening, wasn’t surprised the Lanarkshire club staged a late fightback in Leith.

The former Celtic, Hearts and Scotland striker, who had been on crutches due to a heel injury and had come off the treatment table to play, has seen how Alexander, who replaced Stephen Robinson back in January, has generated a togetherness since arriving.

“I was proud of the boys,” he said. “We showed a lot of commitment and character to get back. It shows that we’ve got a real spirit between us and we should be doing that a lot more often.

“That’s just us. That’s Motherwell as a club. Nobody gives us a chance when we’re playing against so-called bigger teams. But we believe in ourselves and that’s enough. We’ve got people behind us who believe in us so you can’t ask for much more. The boys showed good commitment.

“Since I’ve been out, the boys have been brilliant and have picked up great results. We were just so close to Hampden, but unfortunately we need to pack up and go again.”  

Watt continued: “He (Alexander) has come in and been a results machine. I said that to him the other day. I said: ‘You’ve had some record’. He corrected me and said ‘We’ve had some record’. I got put in my place. He likes a togetherness, he likes a team spirit, and the boys like it.

“Hopefully we can strengthen in the summer and go again. We know we are safe this season, but we all have higher ambitions. Hopefully we can push on and do well. We got to the quarter-final of the cup and played a very good Hibs team, one of the best Hibs team in years, and got beat on pens. And pens are a lottery.”

Motherwell were beaten 4-2 on spot kicks after the last eight tie finished 2-2 at the end of 120 minutes – but Watt felt that Jackson Irvine’s second goal for Hibs had been offside.

However, the striker refused to blame that refereeing decision for the painful loss and stressed he has no desire to see modern technology brought in to help match officials in this country. 

“That’s life,” he said. “What can we do? There is no VAR and I wouldn’t want it either. You win some, you lose some. Thankfully we got back in it. I’m not going to dwell on it.

“If it’s offside, it’s offside. It’s not as if it was an equaliser. It was to go 2-0 up and we eventually clawed it back.  It’s just what happens. That’s football. You don’t want VAR do you?”

Asked about his decision to play, Watt said: “I’d been on crutches a week ago for ten days. I spoke to the physio and to be fair he was good with me. He was being really cautious. I told him I was happy to risk it.

“It’s been sore. It’s still sore. I trained on Friday for 45 mins or an hour and it was sore. I just took a few paracetamol and got through it. I strapped it up. I was happy to help the lads. I spoke to the gaffer and said: ‘Look I’m happy to risk it’.

“It’s a problem with my heel. I landed on it on the astroturf and I hurt it. Hopefully I can keep managing it, get through to the summer and rest it. It’s just one of those I’ve not been able to shake away.”