They were brought back down to earth. Last week, after a hugely impressive start to the season which has allowed them to open up a four-point gap on the clutch of sorry sides struggling at the bottom of the SPFL Premiership, Partick Thistle finally played like the pre-season pundits had predicted. For manager Alan Archibald, though, the home loss to Aberdeen was not a fledgling sign of a side about to slip down the table. There was a simpler explanation.
"The majority of our team didn't play anywhere near their best," he said, bluntly. "To win games in the Premiership you need most of your side to be at their very best. It is maybe a reality check, but I think the boys knew that anyway."
The visitors, missing many of their best players, controlled the match. It was defensive errors, though, not Aberdeen panache, which scuppered their youthful hosts. "Even if you're having a bad day, which we were, you can't give away bad goals," said Archibald. "It was just bad, bad defending. They scored from three mistakes which really is the most disappointing thing."
One defeat does not a bad team make, and Thistle's youngsters have a chance to bounce back tomorrow. Even so, Archibald doesn't rule out making changes for the visit of Kilmarnock. "Even when you win games, you consider changes," he said. "We've got scope, we've got boys who can come in. They're always chapping the door. They're chapping the door when we're winning: 'why am I not playing?' That's the type we've got. You want players who are hungry to go play for you."
The problem with having a squad in which everyone is working hard and eager to impress is that is that it's difficult for any one player to make a particularly pressing impression. "Nobody stands out," Archibald acknowledged. "They've all trained well and support each other. It's not one of those, 'he's rubbish, he's not training well, can I get a game?' They are a good bunch."
Their opponents on Saturday have yet to register a win this season and languish six points behind Thistle. It might be a good time to play them. "I'm always wary of people saying that," Archibald warned. "Everyone knows the teams that are going to be at that end of the league. It's a good chance to get a wee bit of space, open it up. But it's very early days, as we know.
"It will take time for Allan [Johnston] to put his full mark on the team. It was probably easier at Queen of the South because he was already in and around the team, working there. I've seen them a couple of times and they've been unlucky. By all accounts they were the better team against Inverness, but they lost bad goals, just like ourselves."