Dundee boss James McPake says he has no doubt former team-mate Craig Wighton will fulfil his potential – starting after the forward faces his old side this weekend, however.
The 22-year-old is set to line up at Dens Park as an opposition player for just the second time on Saturday as Arbroath look to leapfrog the Dark Blues in the Championship table.
Wighton burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old for Dundee, going on to net a decisive goal against city rivals Dundee United in 2016 (see video below) but has seen his career falter through injury and lack of game-time at Hearts.
He’s made quite an impact at Gayfield, however, with two goals in his first three appearances for the Red Lichties.
⚽️⏪| Craig Wighton will always be remembered fondly by Dundee Football Club (Official) fans for this decisive Dundee Derby goal back in 2016! 👊 #TBT
Posted by SPFL on Thursday, 24 January 2019
James said: “I know Craig well and everyone knows we tried to bring him back to Dundee in January.
“I’m glad to see him doing well, though I do hope he stutters this weekend.
“Craig, Josh Meekings and I did our rehabs together after injuries – those two ended up getting back, I guess I didn’t work as hard!
“I love him as a boy and he has more than just ability, there is a real work ethic there.
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“I am not surprised he’s gone there and hit the ground running.
“I think Craig just wanted to be playing.
“He was surplus to requirements at Hearts, there were a few teams interested and Arbroath got him.
“People forget he had a year out and it can take 12 months to get right after an ACL injury. He’s missed a year he is probably still catching up on.
“It hasn’t quite worked out at Hearts but I don’t think that will define his career.
“I’m sure Craig will still have the career everyone expected him to have, starting after Saturday.”