The fact that Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald had no qualms about throwing a 19-year-old in at Celtic Park to take on Scott Brown – for the second time in his short career – says much for the ability and mentality of Andy McCarthy.

The Thistle youngster, it would seem, is not one who stands on ceremony for anyone, even if they are the captain of the champions and the national side.

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Brown’s influence on the match on Wednesday evening noticeably grew when McCarthy was withdrawn for Chris Erskine as Thistle went in search of an equaliser in the second half, and the Jags prospect clearly relished the challenge.

One thing that McCarthy certainly isn’t lacking, is confidence.

“I enjoyed going up against Scott Brown,” said McCarthy. “He likes the physical side of football and so do I. It was a battle and that’s always good.

“Did we have some banter on the pitch? Aye, we were talking rubbish. It was probably me more than him, but it was good.

“You need to get used to a player like him winding you up, and I was doing the same back.

“It’s part and parcel of football. That’s what happens. You give it out and you get it back. I just laughed at it.

“You show people respect in football, but you don’t let them bully you on the pitch, or get in your head. We shook hands at the end.

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“The manager knows I like the physical side of the game and I don’t mind getting close to people.

“I try to make my opponent uncomfortable, and maybe that’s why he played me.”

McCarthy didn’t let an early booking curtail his approach to the game, although he admits that he thought he may have been heading for an early bath at one stage.

“There was a tackle down the line where I thought ‘Aw naw’, but I just managed to get out the way. I didn’t even think I deserved to be booked in the first place though.

“I got the ball but stuff it, that’s a lesson. The gaffer did say to watch myself after the booking.

“It was a good experience. I played at Celtic Park last year too and although I wanted a better result, it was good to get out there.

“Hopefully I can get a few more games now.”

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While the experience of playing at Celtic Park is one for a young player to savour, McCarthy has an old enough head on his shoulders to know that Saturday’s game against Hamilton will carry far more significance for Thistle’s season.

He is sure though that if they can replicate the performance-level of the defeat to the champions while adding an attacking threat, that they can claim a crucial three points as they look to claw their way clear of the foot of the table.

“Saturday is an important game,” he said. “Hopefully we can bounce back and get the result.

“We are a confident bunch and even if we get beat, we lift our heads. It’s a positive group and we will continue to be that way.

“I do think it’s close to clicking. It was hard against Celtic, but we don’t think we are too far away.

“In some games, it has clicked for spells but hopefully we can get some consistency.”