The glare of the national spotlight has inevitably focused attention on a Partick Thistle side which has performed surprisingly well since arriving in the top flight; although the surprise would only catch out those unfortunates who did not sample their free-flowing football in the first division last term.
"They only know how to play one way," said manager Alan Archibald of his young team. "If I tried to change it, it would probably affect them; so long may it continue. The fans realise we're a young squad, so they don't get on their backs."
Thistle's recent exposure also means their players have been in a shop window of sorts; one imagines a chairman of some up-and-coming club in Scotland or England sat on his chaise-longue with one eyebrow raised and the corner of his mouth betraying a sly smile as he taps a reminder into his smartphone. "Most of them are tied up, so they've got to pay us if they want them." Archibald warned. "Unless it's a ridiculous amount they won't be going anywhere . . . not if I've got a say in the matter."
Steven Lawless, one of the stand-out early performers, is someone Archibald is particularly keen to retain. "There's a deal on the table and we're open to speak to him," the manager said. "He's a real handful."
It is Lawless' former club, Motherwell, who await at Fir Park on Saturday. "They're a wounded animal and are probably due a win," said Archibald of a side who have suffered consecutive league losses. Thistle did not win last weekend either, though, and were left to rue missed chances after passing their way through and past an ramshackle Hearts. "They were down after the game because they thought they had thrown two points away," Archibald sa. "We watched the game again and they realised how well they'd done. There weren't a lot of negatives to do analysis with."