There can be few better examples of the triumph of hope over expectation than the decision by 247 Dundee supporters to make the trek through to Tynecastle on Wednesday night.
Considering that prior to kick-off the Dark Blues were sitting bottom of the Premiership table, having won just two league games all season with the last victory coming away back on December 5, even the most fervent fan must have thought twice about parting with their hard-earned cash to attend a game in Edinburgh.
However, the fans were suitably repaid for their faith with Dundee producing their best performance of what has mostly been a dismal campaign so far as they put a strong Hearts outfit to the sword.
Jim McIntyre’s men were on the front foot from the first whistle, never giving the home side time to settle and pressing Craig Levein’s men tirelessly.
They also played some neat football and were desperately unlucky to go in at the break on level terms following the “Jammy” Tarts’ freak equaliser.
All too often this season, that hammer blow would have signalled a second-half collapse but instead Dundee simply dusted themselves down, picked up from where they left off and were rewarded with Andrew Nelson’s winner.
Everyone in a dark blue jersey gained pass marks and more on the night and while it is possibly unfair to pick out individuals, some were deserving of extra praise.
This was the first chance I’d had to see new keeper Seny Dieng in action and he was mightily impressive.
The 24-year-old was a commanding presence at crosses and showed he was a more than capable shot-stopper.
Nelson was another who shone, not just with his well-taken goal but with his pace, energy and physical presence. If he can reproduce this all-action display on a consistent basis, then Dundee have won the proverbial watch with the former Sunderland striker’s signing.
I have to hold my hand up and confess that at times I have been a big critic of centre-halves Genseric Kusunga and Ryan Innis. However, I was certainly made to eat my words on Wednesday.
Kusunga will have given his manager kittens as he rampaged forward for his goal but the defender showed his will to win as he won possession and burst into the box before producing a calm finish.
Equally as important though, he was a rock at the back along with Crystal Palace loanee Inniss undoubtedly giving his best performance so far in a Dundee jersey.
All in all, it was a great night for the Dark Blues but as McIntyre said afterwards, there is still a lot of hard work to be done before Premiership safety is assured.
In the short-term, it goes without saying that this result cannot stand in isolation and the team need to back up the win when they face Motherwell at Dens tomorrow and then at the home of fellow strugglers Hamilton away after the midweek Scottish Cup replay against Queen of the South.
Certainly after Wednesday, the home fans can dare to approach the game with the Steelmen with a little more expectation than just hope.