Paul McMullan is virtually resigned to the fact that he will be surplus to requirements for Brendan Rodgers’ champions elect at Celtic, and will be looking for a new club in the summer.
And Dunfermline are likely to be leading the chase for the signature of the outstanding young midfielder on a permanent basis.
The on-loan Celt, who was a standout for Dunfermline on Saturday in a disappointing goalless encounter in Paisley, said: “The manager (Allan Johnston) has got a lot of confidence in me.
“I finish up in the summer at Celtic as it stands. I’ve not heard anything either way whether I’m being kept on or being released.
“I just have to play it by ear and keep playing as well as I can. I have asked a couple of times but I’ve not been told anything definitive either way.
“My agent is trying to find out from Celtic. I have to find out what is best for me.”
Dunfermline were first to threaten in nine minutes when Higginbotham took a return pass from Paul McMullan, but Saints goalkeeper Billy O’Brien got down well to clutch the ball at the second attempt.
The Pars were denied a first-half penalty when McMullan went down in the box from a challenge by Gary Irvine.
Referee Stephen Finnie thought otherwise, much to the anger of both boss Allan Johnston and the player himself.
McMullan went on: “I was four yards out, goal-side and about to score, so there was no reason to go down.
“He gave a few different explanations as to why he didn’t give the penalty. I don’t know what he was thinking, but he was just trying to make excuses for not giving it.”
Chances were at a premium, with so much at stake for both sides for differing reasons, but 40 seconds after the break Michael Moffat came close for the Pars when his fierce 18-yard drive flew just over.
In 58 minutes O’Brien brilliantly turned over a curling effort from the same distance from McMullan.
McMullan added: “If we had taken one of the good chances we had, we could have won it.
“It’s one of those games we will look back in frustration that we didn’t take all three points.”
Saints almost snatched the winner in 62 minutes when Lewis Morgan linked with Rory Loy, but the substitute’s cracking angled shot was beaten away by goalkeeper Sean Murdoch, diving low to his right-hand post.
Minutes from the end Loy passed up the chance of the match when he was left in front of goal but fluffed his shot straight at Murdoch.
Paisley boss Jack Ross said: “I thought it was a really competitive game.
“I can’t really ask more of the players, but we have to take the positives because of other results that we are a point closer,” he said.
“It could have been a better day, but it could have been a lot worse.”