It may be the season of goodwill, but festive cheer was in short supply when speaking to Partick Thistle midfielder Adam Barton yesterday.

The one positive to come out of it was his assessment of young Andy McCarthy, and he has called upon his teammates to take a leaf out of the 19-year-old's book and start standing up to be counted, and playing without fear.

Barton has noticed that some Thistle players aren’t showing for the ball and are hiding on the pitch when things are going badly, and he believes that is affecting his own performances.

And after watching young McCarthy go toe-to-toe with Celtic and Scotland captain Scott Brown, Barton reckons one or two others at the club could learn from the fearless youngster.

“For such a young guy going to play Celtic, he just played like he did in training,” Barton said. “He didn’t show any fear.

“That helps to have that, people like that shining for your team. Not necessarily picking passes out or scoring goals, but running around like he did, it definitely lifts the rest of us.

“We need people to take a leaf out of his book. The main thing about football is your confidence. For example, I get frustrated when players don’t really want to show for the ball. So, when I get on the ball and need options there’s almost no point in me having it if I’ve no one to pass it to.

“Then I end up losing it and fans watching from the stand see that and think ‘he’s playing rubbish today’ but you need to look at it from the other perspective that he’s not got the options.

“It’s been tough, but someone once said to me you’ll never see a good player play when the team is doing badly.

“The manager said to get the best out of individuals you need to get the best out of your team. If you have individuals playing badly and making errors all the time, then it’s going to make other players look bad.

“At the moment, there are too many individual errors.We are giving penalties away, we are giving sloppy goals away and not clearing our lines as well as we should do. Stuff like that is taking us from a really strong solid team that didn’t concede many goals to now leaking goals for fun.”

While Barton believes that the collective team performance is paramount, he also pointed out that it comes down to the individual responsibility on each player to win his own personal battle for the team to have any chance of winning games.

“For me, it’s a case of ‘why don’t you do what you need to do, and I’ll do what I need to do?' he said. "'I know my job, so I’ll do my job, and you do your job.’

“Yes, it’s a team game, but if you get a move then you don’t take your team with you. I’ll say that, and I’ll be ruthless about that. If Coutinho goes to Barcelona, he’s not going to take Firminho or Henderson with him, is he?

“First and foremost, you’ve got to look at yourself, stop making individual errors. Win your battle and you’ll be surprised that if seven people do that in a game, then you will get your wins.”

The importance of today’s encounter against Hamilton at Firhill isn’t lost on Barton, and while the football purist inside of him doesn’t like it, he knows that getting a result by hook or by crook, as they did recently against Motherwell, is the most important thing.

“[In the Motherwell game] we just had to battle, we’re playing for our lives here. When the third goal went in I didn’t even celebrate it.

“I just looked up and thought; ‘What is going on here, where has football gone these days?’ I’m trying to play football, and yet we win games like that. The thing to take from that though is that if that is what it takes to win a game of football, then that is what it takes.

“I can remember playing [Hamilton] at theirs earlier this season and it wasn’t a nice game at all. Now I understand why Scottish football is getting the name that it does, which is a shame really, because there are a lot of good players in this league and a lot of good teams. But for some reason, the mentality up here is just to head it and kick it, which I’m very surprised by.

“We’re at home, it’s a big pitch, much bigger than theirs. It’s grass, not that 3G stuff that they play on, so we should be able to try and play."