After watching their side demolished at Tynecastle, Dundee fans would be forgiven for wishing their seven-month wait to see their side in league action again would’ve gone on a bit longer.
The feeling for Dees during the build-up to a first Championship fixture in 220 days might have been something like a child counting down the days till Christmas so they could finally open the latest must-have toy that had been sitting under the tree for so long.
When the big day came, however, they’d have found some bad men dressed in maroon had stolen all the presents, beaten up Santa and left something unpleasant on the carpet.
That’s not to diminish the quality of the finishing from a jubilant Jambos side as they netted six of their nine shots on target, some of the goals superb.
Angry Dees have pointed the finger at goalkeeper Jack Hamilton for a poor display but such was the lack of protection offered by the players in front of him, it was likely at least a few of the 22 shots that headed his way would find their way past the keeper.
Centre-back Jordon Forster has also been in the firing line after the ease in which Michael Smith beat him for the opening goal, setting very much the wrong tone for the rest of the first half.
He was hooked at the break, though manager James McPake insisted it could have been any of his XI coming off.
And the manager himself has also come under the microscope for his 3-5-2 set-up – one that mirrored a disastrous first-half to kick off last season.
That day at Dunfermline, a switch of formation at half-time saw the Dark Blues fight back to escape East End Park with a 2-2 draw.
This time around, the door to revival was shut firmly in their faces as Robbie Neilson’s men eased to victory.
McPake accepted he got it wrong by making the change at half-time that saw striker Jonathan Afolabi come on for Forster.
It must also be mentioned that the best tactic in the world would have made no difference with players so far off the intensity of their opponents.
Dundee very much looked like they’d not kicked a ball in the last seven months while Hearts were fresh, vibrant and ready to go.
None of this is an excuse for any part of the Dark Blues’ performance, Friday night was quite clearly unacceptable in every way for a club with designs on winning promotion from the Championship.
To be so far off the pace was frightening, everyone involved with the display will be having a good long look in the mirror right now.
Suddenly, this first week of the league season has become huge for McPake and his men.
It’s up to them to show something a whole lot better when Morton come to town on Saturday.