Dundee kid Craig Wighton has carried the weight of expectation on his young shoulders for almost three years.
Now, speaking in his first interview exclusively with the Tele, the 18-year-old hopes he can shake off the shackles, bin the “hot prospect” tag and start to finally deliver for his beloved Dark Blues.
This evening, Wighton is expected to be handed a starting spot when Paul Hartley’s men travel to Parkhead to take on champions-elect Celtic.
It will be the teenager’s first start for Dundee in 13 months, which also happened to be against the Hoops.
“I hope to take my chance,” said the youngster.
“We have a group of forwards who are playing really well at the moment, so I have had to be patient for my chance. If it comes, I need to make sure I take it.”
Ever since he broke on to the first-team scene at the tender age of 15, Wighton has been hailed as the next Dundee hero.
Born and bred in the city, quiet but an intelligent speaker, Wighton knows exactly what it means to pull on the dark blue jersey.
The history of his own shirt number — 33 — is also not lost on this youngster, mature beyond his tender years.
But he does feel that maybe too much was expected too soon from him.
Although he’s keen to grasp his first-team chance with both hands, he has urged caution. Wighton thinks he still has a lot of learning to do as a player.
“People seem to forget that I am such a young player. I am only 18, even though it maybe feels like I have been around forever,” he said.
“There has been a lot of pressure from the fans for me to play. They expect a lot, too. I am still learning my trade at this football club.”
Back in the summer of 2014, then Dundee boss John Brown hailed Wighton, then just 15, as the brightest talent he’d ever seen.
Even mention of that time brings a wry smile to Wighton’s face.
Reflecting back, he said: “Expectation was maybe a little too high back then — I was only 15 or 16 and people were wanting me in the first team.
“There is a massive difference between playing U/20s or scoring goals for the Scotland youth team and being in the Dundee first team.
“A young player coming through the ranks at Dundee has been rare in recent history.
“Maybe that is why the fans were so keen to see me thrown in to the team.”
It was about the same time, every week brought a new link to another club as scouts from the English Premier League were posted to keep an eye on him.
He said: “There was a lot of stuff in the papers. I was certainly linked with a lot of clubs. But I never read anything into that. There have always been rumours but as a young player you can’t let that affect you.
“It is hard to get away from because people ask you in the street and even your pals ask you about it.
“But it made no difference to me. It still doesn’t. I have one year left on my current deal at Dundee and I want to prove I am worth another contract.”
He may be “one of your own” now, Dark Blues fans but it was very close to not being that way. Wighton was almost snapped up by rivals United.
“It was always my dream to play for this football club,” said Wighton.
“When I was young I almost signed for Dundee United. They were one of a number of clubs I trained with.
“I was with them for about a year but I went to Dundee for a month and I felt like they wanted me more. I definitely feel I made the right choice. I’m playing for the club that I love.”