Graham Alexander has backed Tony Watt to fill Lyndon Dykes’ boots for Scotland’s make-or-break World Cup qualifying double header against Moldova and Denmark.

The Motherwell striker is nearing top form and has the chance to showcase his talents on the big stage again on Saturday when Celtic visit Fir Park.

Scotland stand one win from securing a play-off spot but will have to do without suspended Dykes, who has struck four goals in the last four internationals, in Chisinau.

And Alexander reckons five-goal Watt, whose only cap so far came in a friendly win over Czech Republic in 2016, would be a solid replacement for the QPR hitman.

The Steelmen boss said: “Any Scottish player who’s playing well at the moment, which Tony certainly is, should be in contention.

“If you’re scoring goals in a team that’s doing reasonably well in the Premiership, and you’re Scottish, then you’ve got to be thinking along those lines.

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“I know Tony has that ambition and that’s great because I want players that are motivated, whatever that motivation is.

“He’s shown that in his performances over the last five or six games but he’s added goals to his game. If you want that recognition you have to have that end product as a forward, to make the manager believe you can help the team win.

“I think Stephen O’Donnell and Liam Kelly being in the Scotland squad helps, as does Juhani Ojala being involved with Finland.

“I’d like to think our players can fulfil their ambitions at this club – by playing good football, being part of a winning team and going on to represent their country.

“These goals can be met at Motherwell and that’s a great thing for us.”

Watt has faced criticism over his professionalism and work rate as a series of moves and loan switches across the continent failed to ignite his early promise at Parkhead.

Motherwell are his ninth club in the seven years since.

Motherwell striker Tony Watt says he's going to focus more on scoring goals

But Alexander is confident the penny has dropped for the 27-year-old after an early season reminder that standards can’t slip.

He said: “Tony’s been consistent since he’s come back into the team and that’s where trust is built between managers and players. You know what you’re going to get as a minimum, not a maximum.

“For me, that’s what Tony’s managed to achieve over the past two months.

“I get frustrated as well! But I’m sure every manager I played for got frustrated with me.

“It’s part of the game – we’re human beings, we make mistakes. But I think at some stage if a player’s intelligent enough, the penny drops about what he’s about and what his career’s about.

“Sometimes as a younger player you can take your career for granted. I did.

“Then you get to an age when you realise it might not go on forever and you better crack on and achieve what you set out to do.

“I think Tony feels really loved here at the club, it’s a great club to play for in the way we look after players.

“I left him out of the team at the start of the season because I didn’t feel he was where I wanted him to be – but I made it clear I wanted him to be here and help us achieve things.

“He cracked on and did that. He’s getting the rewards.

“He’s his own biggest critic and he probably believes he’s made mistakes. I’m not interested in his past, I’m interested in his future.”

Motherwell are without Robbie Crawford who faces up to six weeks out with an ankle knock for the visit of Celtic.

Alexander has set a target of victory for his players.

Alexander said: “I think it will be as tough a game as we have had this season. You look at the individual players they have, top quality. You look at the manager, top quality.

“They’ll have an expectancy to win. We don’t really go in for looking at team’s previous form.

“If we’d have done that going to Ibrox we’d have bowed down and got beat because they had won something like 21 games on the bounce.

“We just have to keep our focus on the next three points available.

“We have that same focus all the time, almost like it’s the last game on earth so we have to go all out for it.”