First Team

Craig in peak condition

8th March 2019

Craig Wighton said he is now in peak condition to fight for a first team place and put his injury woes behind him.

The striker has been hit by injury since his summer arrival from Dens Park but is now back to full fitness and ready to fight for a place in the starting eleven.

"It's been frustrating, obviously," Craig said. "The injury was just in training and it couldn't be helped. It's one of those things but I've been fit for a few weeks, playing for the reserves, just trying to get up to speed and I feel like I am now. It's just up to me to keep working hard and work my way back in."

Craig has made nine appearances this term, with four of those coming from the start. In more recent weeks, he's been in regular reserve action, netting two in the 9-1 win over Partick Thistle on Tuesday.

"I think I'm probably in a better shape now than I was when I first came here, physically," Craig added. "I've had a few games back to back under my belt that I've not had in the past wee while. Even though it's reserves it's good to get these games and get up to speed. I'm feeling sharp now and if I do get called upon then I'll be ready."

There will now be the opportunity for Craig to make up for lost time as Steven Naismith has been ruled out for two months with a knee injury.

"It's a big task for everybody, for all the forwards to replace that," said Craig, speaking about the goals Naismith has added this season. "We missed him last time he was out but it's up to us to step up. There's a lot of competition up there without Naisy. Obviously, he's going to be a miss. Any team losing a player like that, would miss him."

"We're all gutted to lose him, he's a big player for us and we've got some important games coming up but at the same time, it's an opportunity for everyone else and we all need to start chipping in with goals and helping in that sense."

Craig is yet to score for the Jambos despite some impressive performances and he is keen to get his name onto the scoresheet for the first team.

"It's the most frustrating thing," he admitted. "Once you do get one and get off the mark it's a bit of a relief. Like I say, I've not played many games so when I do play it's up to me to try and get these opportunities and try and take one of them."

You can watch all of Craig's press conference on HeartsTV by clicking here.