Craig Wighton turns scout for Hearts’ trip to Arbroath, reveals Neilson


CRAIG WIGHTON has turned super-spy for Hearts ahead of his return to Gayfield.

Jambos boss Robbie Neilson has revealed that Wighton has given him the lowdown on what to expect from Dick Campbell’s charges following his successful stint at Arbroath last season.

The 23-year-old joined the Red Lichties on loan in January and found the net three times in five appearances prior to the campaign being curtailed in March.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson | Hearts news
Robbie Neilson wants Hearts to put down a title marker at Gayfield (Pic: Hearts TV)

Indeed, one of those goals secured a 1-0 win over Neilson’s Dundee United at Tannadice.

And Neilson is adamant it would be daft not to tap into that knowledge.

Neilson said: “I spoke with Craig on Thursday about Arbroath. He knows all the players inside out, which is important.

“I asked him about Arbroath’s different options, what his thoughts on them are and what they might do.

“We watch their games, of course, but if you’ve been in the environment for a couple of months then you have more of a feel regarding what the team might be.

“For example, Thomas O’Brien is out at centre-half because he was sent off last week, which is a big loss for them.

“So who will go in? At what position? Who moves about? It’s interesting – and we’ve got somebody who has been in that dressing room.”

Neilson, meanwhile, insists Hearts have built up their trip to Gayfield more than the season opener against Dundee.

He believes motivation and determination were never going to be a problem for last week’s 6-2 demolition of the Dee – but says grinding out victories on the road is what captures titles.

Hearts striker Craig Wighton | Hearts news
Insight: Hearts striker Craig Wighton (Pic: Hearts TV)

Neilson continued: “We have built this Arbroath game up bigger than the Dundee game. The first game was always going to take care of itself because it’s the opening league match and it’s on TV against one of your main competitors for the title.

“For this one, we have to make sure the players understand that it’s going to be a very, very tough game.

“Games at Tynecastle take care of themselves because of the surface and the environment.

“But these [Arbroath] are the games that can help you win the title if you get three points. Last season we ground out a 1-0 win there with Dundee United. We had to battle for it and it was probably one of the hardest games we had all season.”