It wouldn’t have felt like a consolation when their heads hit their pillows after a heart-breaking cup quarter-final penalty shoot-out defeat.
But the fact that the Dunfermline players have proved they can raise their game when they face bigger clubs should bode well for the rest of their season.
The Pars were rarely cut open by St Johnstone in Tuesday night’s Betfred Cup clash and a never-say-die spirit served them well over two-and-a-bit hours of football.
Iain Wilson’s extra-time equaliser set up penalty kicks. Though the summer signing was able to find the target himself, Paul Watson and Kevin O’Hara saw their efforts saved and the Fife side were knocked out in agonising fashion.
When the dust has settled, however, the former Kilmarnock man believes confidence will be strengthened as opposed to weakened on the back of their bitter Betfred quarter-final experience.
“I fancied us to win it when we got to penalties but they are always a lottery and they can go either way,” said Wilson. “Unfortunately for us it didn’t go for us.
“It was really good saves from their keeper. Zander has been playing well for years. He is a top keeper. Kevin O’Hara has scored a few important goals for us so we can’t complain if he misses one.
“The boys are obviously disappointed to be out the cup as we wanted to get through.
“We played well against St Johnstone and one of our other better performances was against Hearts in the league. That is a good sign.
“We maybe need to control the game a bit better in the games against teams in the Championship when they are sitting off of us.
“We need to get better at that but we have had a good start to the season and hopefully our luck will change again when we face Dundee at the weekend.”
Wilson’s goal was his first as a Dunfermline player. The manner in which he latched on to a loose ball and dispatched it past Clark would suggest there will be plenty more where that came from.
“It was nice to get off the mark for the club,” he said. “It was frustrating to be sitting on the bench all night but Fraser Murray had an injury so I was brought on.
“I wanted to show what I could do and I managed to do that.
“It has been good to get some minutes under my belt so far this season. I have been in and out the team a little bit, which can be frustrating at times, but we have such a good squad and there is plenty of talent in my position so I know I will have to fight for my place if I want to stay in the team.”
A trip to Dundee provides an opportunity to get back within a point of Championship leaders and favourites, Hearts and, more importantly, open up an eight-point gap on their promotion rivals from Dens Park.
“We can’t get carried away because we have had a solid start to the campaign,” said Wilson.
“Hearts are obviously going to be the favourites to go up and it would be silly to say we are in a title race.
“We have to take it one game at a time and see what happens. It is still early days and there are a lot of good teams in this division.”