KALLUM Higginbotham is confident he can continue to thrive under pressure as Partick Thistle fight for their Premiership survival this season.

The forward was instrumental for Alan Archibald's side on Saturday as the Jags got their post-split fixture schedule off to a perfect start with a 2-1 win at Kilmarnock.

Higginbotham's free kick cancelled out Killie's opener before Aaron Taylor-Sinclair won it late on for Thistle, who are now 10th in the standings and two points ahead of Ross County.

A Firhill clash with St Mirren is next up for Archibald's side and Higgy is relishing another chance to star on the big stage on Friday night.

He said: "I don't do nerves. I just go out and do what I do every Saturday and I have never got nervous playing football.

"Whether that be playing at Wembley or Westfield for Falkirk. I don't get nervous and that's the way I am.

"Some people do and some people don't and that is just the way I am.

"I think we are all pulling in the right direction and if we play like we did against Kilmarnock then we'll be fine.

"It is not always going to be about football in the run-in and we have four cup finals left, but we showed that we can battle and fight as we went behind and still came back to win.

"The pitches are not going to be ideal either so there will be lots of balls being played in behind and feeding off scraps."

With just four games to go this term, the battle to beat the drop is even tighter than it was before a ball was kicked at the weekend.

Just three points separate the five teams fighting it out to avoid the relegation play-off spot.

And Higginbotham knows victory in Ayrshire was crucial for the Jags' survival chances this term.

He said: "We knew if Kilmarnock had gone six points ahead of us it would have been hard to claw back six points in four games.

"It was vital that we got the win. With Hibs getting beat that has brought them right back into it and Ross County also lost so everybody is scrapping now to avoid the play-off spot."

It was to prove an eventful day for Higginbotham at Rugby Park, with the Jags star involved in the main flashpoint of the first half as well as both Thistle goals after the break.

The striker and Alexei Eremenko exchanged crunching tackles in the middle of the park, with both booked for their lunges as tensions rose in the heat of battle.

Higginbotham said: "I had a few words with Eremenko when he was rolling about the pitch playacting and I think he has then come in to do me.

"I just jumped straight back up and got on with it. He caught me on the shin.

"It is part and parcel of football and I thought I was going in for a 50/50, but I just got there before him and he has done me but I've come out the other side.

"It is one of things and you just get on with it and at the end of the day Partick have got the result."