A run of fixtures reading Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough, Hull City was unlikely to inspire anything other than trepidation even in the most optimistic of Huddersfield Town supporters.
And so it proved on Tuesday night as David Wagner's men made it two losses on the spin since the international break.
They were well-beaten 3-0 by a Boro side edging ever closer to promotion , and while the 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday was a close encounter throughout , the hosts were were well in control on Teesside.
Here's what we learnt from the game.
David Wagner's philosophy could leave fans waiting for top six triumph
A lot has been said and written in the lead-up to this game about Huddersfield Town's inability to take points off those in the play-off spots - even though they have often matched them performance-wise for long spells.
Some of those results pre-date David Wagner's arrival in Yorkshire, but does his philosophy leave his team playing into the hands of the best in the division?
Boro have often been left frustrated this season by teams who set out with little ambition but to defend, with Aitor Karanka's men finding it difficult to break down rigid banks of players determined to stick behind the ball.
That isn't the way of the Wagner Revolution.
But this is a style that produces exciting, attacking football from a coach who is continually moulding his team to improve and reach greater heights.
The benefits of his reign are already obvious to most, and results against the top teams will come eventually - and in the meantime, Town fans can watch their team aim to win, rather than simply stifle.
Sloppy passing isn't limited to the defence
Supporters have been quick to offer criticism when players are caught out trying to play out from the back, rather than hoof a clearance long.
It proved problematic again on Teesside, with Dean Whitehead being robbed for the second goal and Joel Lynch also playing with fire on a number of occasions.
Wagner has spoken before of his willingness to accept errors in playing this way, but the truth is these sloppy passes weren't limited to Town's own territory.
Not enough care was taken with the ball all over the pitch, and against a side that can counterattack with the ruthless speed, efficiency and guile of Boro, that can prove costly anywhere on the field of play.
It's easy to lay the blame at a style that calls for risk in your own half, but sometimes the passing just needs to be quicker and crisper - wherever and however the ball is being played.
Steer likely to leave big gloves to fill
It is sometimes difficult to award Man of the Match to a goalkeeper who finishes on the losing side by three goals, but Jed Steer made a strong claim to be crowned Town's best player on the night.
A dubious award perhaps, but without him the margins could have widened to a gaping chasm.
Left with little chance against the second goal, there is no shame in conceding from the penalty spot or from the type of expert free kick that Gaston Ramirez conjured up in the second period.
Perhaps the pick of the saves was a brilliant tone handed stop to deny Jordan Rhodes his first Riverside goal, but he also denied the excellent Albert Adomah and made a good reaction save from Nsue late on.
It's been a fantastic loan spell for the keeper, who returns to Aston Villa in the summer. With Championship football at Villa Park looking all but certain, it could be problematic for Town to hold on to him.
With Wagner looking less than convinced by the other stoppers on the books, Steer would leave a big headache behind.
Premier League quality makes the difference
It was no real surprise to see the plaudits rain down on the head of Gaston Ramirez in the aftermath of the 3-0 defeat.
He scored twice and was fouled for the penalty, but in truth, Town were unable to deal with him all night as the silky feet of the Uruguayan international proved time and time again too much for the tired limbs of the Town back line.
Aitor Karanka said he was the main difference between the sides , while Tomas Kalas has backed him to spearhead Boro towards the promised land of the Premier League.
On loan from Southampton, where his current deal runs out in the summer, it was a coup for Boro and Karanka to snatch him in the January window and he looks to be one of the most important signings of the winter.
He is far superior to most at this level - something you expect from a player that cost Southampton in the region of £12m.
In an era where Premier League sides have more money than ever before, loanees dropping down a division - although from next season outside the now defunct emergency window - are unlikely to go away.
The Championship is a notoriously tricky league, but facing Premier League quality is only going to make the task harder.
Low expectations doesn't mean less frustration
There was little optimism among the fanbase ahead of kick off that Town would emerge from last night with any points to show for their efforts.
However, as news filtered through that sides down the bottom were taking the lead, supporters still had to fight the urge to panic.
Whatever your expectations, losing still hurts.
And what made this defeat all the more galling was how Town were the architects of their own downfall.
David Wagner rued "easy" goals, and while Boro were in total control once they scored, Town had made life very difficult until the penalty - when they then conceded twice in succession to hand the impetus to the hosts.
Expecting a tricky game doesn't mean fans don't have a right to feel aggrieved at a loss, especially when the team insists on shooting itself in the foot.