CRAIG WIGHTON has suggested that some of Athletic's rivals have "talked a good game" this season after helping his team win League One.

The 25-year-old said that he and his team-mates were aware of talk from elsewhere in the title chase, which saw Dunfermline canter to the winning post with three games of their season remaining.

Ex-Dundee and Heart of Midlothian star Wighton took his tally for the campaign to 18 with a second half brace against Queen of the South on Saturday, helping secure a five-goal victory that put the Pars 13 points clear of second-placed Falkirk, with just nine left to play for.

For the majority of the season, Dunfermline have led the way and, since returning to top spot on October 15, it is a position that they have occupied since.

James McPake's side are unbeaten at home, have lost just once in the league this season – at Montrose in October, which is the fewest in the SPFL alongside Celtic – and are currently on a 21 game unbeaten run in the league, which has broken their previous best, achieved under Bert Paton, over the end of season 1994/95, and the beginning of the following campaign.

Their 19 goals conceded in 33 games is also the best across all four SPFL divisions and Wighton, who last Thursday signed a new two-year contract with the club, said that they had been motivated by comments from elsewhere.

"I think it's hard not to be aware of it," he said.

"You see it I think, with certain clubs who have been speaking, but we've never done that. That's been a big message from the manager, that everything we do is in-house, and we'll keep it that way.

"I think other clubs have maybe talked a good game, and put a bit too much pressure on themselves, but we've certainly not done that.

"It's been very comfortable in the end.

"There's maybe been other clubs that have spoken in the press a bit too much, and we've kept it in-house, and just got on with our job. We've won it very comfortably, and it probably could've been a bigger (points) margin in my opinion, so we're absolutely delighted.

"I'm glad that we've got the job done. We've got three games left, but there's no pressure on us – we'll go and enjoy our football."

Wighton joined Dunfermline in February 2021 when then boss, Stevie Crawford, swooped to sign him on a pre-contract agreement from Hearts, before concluding a loan move for the remainder of that season.

He has now hit the net 27 times for the Pars in all competitions, only three of which came last season, when they were relegated.

Hopes of a promotion challenge in the Championship disintegrated as they were condemned to the drop by Queen's Park, following a Championship play-off semi-final loss.

Wighton played no part in that, having been sent to Arbroath, who were chasing an unlikely place in the Premiership, for the second half of the season by John Hughes, who had succeeded Peter Grant in the Pars dugout, but he was thrilled to enjoy a far better feeling than was around the club 12 months ago.

"The manager actually said that before the game; remember how we felt last year, and enjoy every minute of this. I think we did," he continued.

"You can see what the fans are like when you give them something to cheer about. Obviously, last year, we didn't do that enough but, when you're playing the way we are, and they're behind us, then it's a tough place to come.

"I think, over the course of the season as well, we've been brilliant. It's a nice way to finish it off, get the job done, and we'll enjoy our night."