ALMOST exactly a year ago, Baily Cargill stepped onto the pitch at Old Trafford to help 10-man Bournemouth repel a star-studded Manchester United attack and earn a historic draw for The Cherries.

So, while the importance of Partick Thistle’s remaining league fixtures isn’t lost on the on-loan defender, he is justifiably confident that he can handle the pressure of the relegation dogfight.

Thistle take on Aberdeen on Saturday looking to win a massive, and unexpected, three points in their bid to claw themselves clear of the Premiership trapdoor, but the Dons hold no fears for Cargill after repelling Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co.

“I remember Eddie Howe calling me over and I was thinking ‘is he really calling my name to go on here? We’re 1-1 at Old Trafford and you’re calling on me?’” Cargill recalled.

“I don’t think there’s too many bigger stages to be thrown into than Old Trafford. It is one of the biggest clubs and biggest stadiums in the world.

“It was 1-1 and we were down to 10 men, and it was definitely the most pressure I’ve ever felt being involved in a game.

“I was so focused on not conceding, because I didn’t want to come on and then we lose the game, because that would reflect badly on me.

“It was such a massive occasion, and nothing so far in my career has compared to that.

“It was really daunting. It’s everything you would imagine. I was so nervous. I was anxious to do well, and then it went by so fast. But it was an unbelievable experience and one I’ll never forget.

“If you’ve done that, then you’re prepared to go up against anyone."

While his experience at Old Trafford was the highlight of his career to date, one of the undoubted lowlights came during his frequent travels out on loan from Bournemouth with Torquay United.

At the age of just 18 he was farmed out to The Gulls as they desperately scrapped for their lives in England’s League Two, only to fall short and drop into the Conference, as it was then.

He doesn’t want to go through the same experience for the second time in his short career at Partick Thistle.

“I only joined for a month, and played the last five games during the relegation battle,” he said. “We won three out of five, but it wasn’t enough.

“That has given me experience of this situation though. I have been there, and it was tough.

“When we did get relegated it was a sad day. Even I felt it. I had only been there a month, but I was so gutted for the lads.

“It was a grim place to be. We went down on the last day, needing other results to go our way.

“When the final whistle went, and we knew that we were going down, everyone was fighting back the tears and there was a massive sense of disappointment.

“It was really quiet, nobody was really talking, and it was a real shame.

“I really don’t want to be there again.”

There is a school of thought that loan players don’t care as deeply for a team, and what will happen to them once they have breezed through, as teammates who are permanently contracted to their clubs.

But Cargill is desperate to help Thistle stay up, not least of all because he is open to a permanent move north of the border when his contract expires in the summer.

“I need to start playing regular games at a club on a permanent basis,” he said. “If that’s at Bournemouth, then great, and I’ll be in the Premier League with them, but if not, then I need to get regular football.

“I’d happily stay at Thistle, or if the move was right for me elsewhere in Scotland, I’m happy to stay here.”