PAUL PATON believes Dunfermline remain favourites for the Irn-Bru First Division title – despite Partick Thistle recording their second win of the season over their promotion rivals in a 5-1 rout.
Jackie McNamara's Jags followed up a 1-0 win at East End Park earlier in the term with a superb showing at the weekend, a Steven Lawless brace and goals from Conrad Balatoni, Stephen O'Donnell and Ross Forbes clinching a memorable win for Thistle.
Mac's men face Hamilton Accies on Friday night aiming to double their lead at the top of the table, and Paton knows victory in Lanarkshire is just as crucial as the recent Firhill thriller.
He said: "Saturday was just another win for us. We are not going to go over the top about it and start saying things we might regret. It was a great performance and we're delighted.
"I wouldn't say we are favourites for the title. Dunfermline have a lot of their squad from the SPL so I would say they are favourites. We are three points ahead just now but that is nothing at this stage of the season.
"Saturday is only a great result if you go and get the win next week.
"There is no point putting in a performance like that if you fall at the next hurdle. You have got to keep that momentum going and that's our aim."
There were few faults in Thistle's five-star showing as they eased their way to an emphatic triumph and continued their unbeaten home record this season.
Boss McNamara expressed his desire to retain former Motherwell youngster Ross Forbes beyond the end of his Jags deal in the aftermath of Saturday's win, and Paton has hailed the impact of his midfield partner.
He said: "That was Ross' best performance for us. You can see he is getting fitter and his confidence is growing. He was unbelievable.
"Everyone knows his left foot is incredible and when he has got the work rate to go with that then there is nothing stopping him.
"He does that kind of thing in training every day, the boys know what a wand of a left peg he has. It was a great performance from him and I am sure there are more to come."
It was not just McNamara's players who rose to the occasion at the weekend, with more than 5,000 supporters turning out to roar their side on to a massive three points.
The crowd was the biggest at Firhill in a league game since 2004 and Paton is keen for more of the same.
He said: "The fans were incredible. That is as good as I have seen during my five years at the club. It is the best feeling I have had.
"We need to bring the good times back for the fans. We need the fans.
"We need the income as a club and, hopefully, if we can keep putting in performances like that they will come and help us gain promotion."