WITH Kevin van Veen, there has never been a question mark over his ability. His ability to produce his best levels on a consistent basis though is a different matter, and is perhaps part of the reason why he has found himself at Motherwell – with the greatest of respect – instead of higher up the footballing food chain.
The striker though is on one of his hot streaks at the moment, bagging seven goals in his last six matches. Indeed, the hat-trick he plundered against Inverness on League Cup duty on Wednesday night pulled him to within four goals of his total for the entirety of last season.
His four league goals to date also have him sitting pretty in the early running to be the Premiership’s top scorer, level with the likes of Rangers forward Antonio Colak and just two behind Celtic star Kyogo.
The challenge he has set himself is to maintain that strike rate, and challenge the multi-million pound stars of the Old Firm to be the country’s top marksman.
“I’m very down to earth,” Van Veen said. “I know I’ve got seven goals in six games now, but I don’t really care too much about that.
“Obviously I’m hungry and I want to keep scoring goals. I’m 31 now and I’m very hungry to score goals and get people off their seats.
“Kyogo and Colak are way better strikers than me – and that’s me just being deadly honest. They both play for two big teams and they both get a lot more chances than me. But hopefully I can keep going and help my team by scoring and creating some assists.
“Long may it continue. Hopefully I can be challenging for the top three [goalscorers in the league].
“I said last year I wanted to be there and I feel like I have the ability to do that. The challenge for me is to be consistent.”
There is also a formidable challenge ahead of Motherwell if they want to reach Hampden at the first time of asking this term, with the reward for their win over Inverness a home tie against League Cup holders Celtic.
“There are certainly easier games than that,” van Veen said. “But if you want a good cup run, then you have to beat the best.
“We know it’ll be tough. For me, Celtic are the best team in the league – especially in terms of possession. But we look forward to it. It’s good to measure yourself against those type of teams.
“At least the game is at home for us. That makes a massive difference. Away from home it would be very hard.
“Everyone knows Celtic are rolling over the top of teams just now. But we feel like we’ve got a chance at home.”