CRAIG WIGHTON admits that proving a point to his parent club will give him added motivation to help fire Dunfermline into promotion contention this season.

The 23-year-old arrived at East End on a loan deal from Championship rivals Heart of Midlothian last Friday until the end of the season having signed a pre-contract agreement previously to join permanently in the summer.

He trained with his team-mates for the first time at the weekend, after Athletic’s game with Dundee was called off, and is in line to make his debut at home to Alloa Athletic on Saturday.

Wighton said he was thrilled to link up with his new team-mates early – despite Tynecastle manager Robbie Neilson’s initial refusal – having been told he was surplus to requirements in Gorgie and was to train with the reserves.

When asked if that had provided additional motivation now he is a Pars player, the former Dundee player replied: “I think you need to see it like that.

“Football’s ruthless at times so I’m sure it won’t be the last time it happens to me in my career but I think it does.

“Even when I was training with the reserves, I went in as normal, worked hard and got out of the sessions what I needed to get out of them. John Rankin, the reserve coach, was good. He understood the situation and there’s a few other boys there in the same situation.

“The sessions were good, enjoyable, and it’s worth it that I’ve been able to come to Dunfermline now.

“I was looking forward to a fresh start in the summer but, to get it done now and hopefully be able to help between now and the end of the season to finish as high up the league as we can, that’s a big thing.

“I just hope I can hit the ground running.”

Wighton, though, wasn’t sure if the opportunity to play for Stevie Crawford’s side before he begins a two-year deal on June 1 would happen, with Neilson reluctant to let him join a promotion rival.

“The longer this dragged on, I thought I was going to have to wait until the summer, so to get it done now is brilliant,” he continued.

“I was told at the start of January that I wasn’t in their plans, to find something else, and that I was training with the reserves for the rest of the season. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last four or five weeks.

“We’d got the option of Dunfermline and we were trying to get it done as quickly as we could. Hearts didn’t want me to come, and then obviously they’ve changed their minds, so I’m just happy that it got done. It means that I can get settled in before signing in the summer.

“Obviously, Hearts, at the start, had told me that I could leave and go on loan, but I couldn’t go to Dunfermline, Dundee or Raith because they’re the rivals. That was frustrating as well but, like I say, it’s done now.

“I thought I’d done enough in the games that I’d played – maybe not enough to earn a contract beyond the summer – but I thought I’d done enough to at least be in the plans until the end of the season.

“I think that was frustrating because I thought that, when I played, I’d done well enough, but obviously it’s up to the manager at the end of the day.”

Although he had top-flight interest from Hamilton Academical, Wighton was sold on Dunfermline by his new manager, adding: “I had a good chat with the manager and his plans for me and the club, and I just had a gut feeling it was the right move for me.

“The play-offs has got to be the aim after the start to the season. There’s no easy games in this league, whether it’s home or away, so there will be a lot of tough games between now and the end of the season. But if they keep doing what they’re doing, hopefully I can add to that, then I don’t see a reason why not.”