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Interview: Elliot Watt hoping to make Wolves impact

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

It's been a week of hard work, of learning and certainly no holiday for Wolves in Switzerland – and that suits Elliot Watt just fine.

The teenage midfielder is getting his first taste of senior action with the Wolves first team on their pre-season tour and it's been a hugely productive week.

This isn't the first time this summer that the youngster has been presented with a challenge he wasn't expecting – in May he earned a surprise call-up for the Scotland Under-21 squad in the prestigious Toulon Tournament, despite being aged only 18.

And the level-headed central midfielder is taking it all in his stride.

"It's been quality being around the lads, the coaches and the boss, getting to see how they work and just trying to learn as much as I can," he told the Express & Star.

"Then I can take that back with me, whether that's around the first team, the under-23s or out on loan.

"Myself and a few other of the young lads started training with the first team a week before we came out so we had an inkling the boss might take some young players with him, but we didn't find out until two days before.

"When he told us we were buzzing. I wasn't expecting it when we first came back this summer, I thought I'd be going to Holland with the under-23s.

"I wasn't so much nervous, just excited. It's a big chance to impress and any nerves had gone after we'd trained with the first team at home.

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"We felt like we'd settled in and were getting to know the first team lads.

"We've been with each other for two or three years, we're good mates. We know a lot of the lads being being around the club, there are no new faces.

"The Toulon tournament was quality. Similar to this I didn't expect to get the call-up, because it's three years above me.

"It was a quality experience against very good players.

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"The facilities here are first class, especially the hotel. The view is unbelievable, I've never seen anything like it.

"You've got everything you need and more."

Watt is hoping to catch Nuno's eye (© AMA / Sam Bagnall)

Watt enjoyed a very positive debut with Nuno's first team during Tuesday's 2-1 win over Basel, regularly getting on the ball in midfield in what was a mobile, energetic display which helped drive the team forward after falling behind early on.

"I was pleased with how it went," he said. "It took 10 minutes to get used to the rhythm and speed of the game. Basel are a top side, especially in midfield.

"Around the 15-minute mark I dropped out into the left side channel and played a ball out to Gilo (Ryan Giles). The boss just encouraged me to keep doing it and it seemed to work, that's when we began to get a foothold in the game.

"That gave me confidence, with the gaffer encouraging me.

"He's been talking to me a lot. The key messages are about learning the shape and how he expects you to play, when to support on an angle, or when to drop off, just little things during the game.

"The main messages is to enjoy it, not to be nervous and to play it like any other game.

"If you don't feel comfortable you can go and speak to him and he'll make you feel comfortable."

Preston-born Watt played alongside Pedro Goncalves on Tuesday in Nuno's usual 3-4-3 formation.

He feels it's a system that suits his game well.

"I'm a deep-lying midfielder who likes to get on it and give the ball to more creative players ahead of me, that's my job, to supply the forward lads with the ball," he said.

"When we're on the attack I organise and make sure we don't get countered on.

"That works well in this formation, with the two in midfield, the wing-backs and the front three there are plenty of bodies to pick out and also to organise when we lose the ball.

"The shape suits me down to a tee and the players here are of a very high standard.

"To play against Ruben Neves and you see him dropping into certain positions and I'm questioning myself, do I go with him, do I not. When I'm playing, me trying to do that to him, trying to draw him out of positions and do what I've learned from him. It's quality."

Watt will hope for more minutes during today's game against Young Boys before the squad fly back to England to continue their pre-season preparations.

"I'm buzzing to get out and play more minutes and hopefully the boss takes a liking to me," he added.

"The main target is to stay in the gaffer's plans and be in and around a great team and great league and hopefully get some minutes.

"If not I'll go back to the under-23s or maybe go out on loan. I'll just take it in my stride."

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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