SEAN McGINTY knows a little bit about lost causes after experiencing turmoil in Torquay.

Whatever else can be said about Partick Thistle’s imperilled Ladbrokes Championship position, it seems like anything but a lost cause from 6ft 5ins tall McGinty’s vantage point.

The giant central defender, who started his career with Manchester United, is toiling to avoid a second successive relegation after failing to help Torquay United escape the drop last season.

The once-proud Gulls plunged to the sixth tier of the English game after a dreadful campaign and McGinty, who left in the summer after three years – and his longest service at one club – is eager to avoid a repeat.

But with five teams within four points of one another in the table, the scenario feels very different from Torquay’s doomed campaign.

Partick, though, now prop up the table and badly need a return to winning ways to avoid a second successive tumble through the league trapdoors.

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The 25-year-old from Maidstone admitted: “We came away to County, the league leaders, and at any other time of the season it’s a really good point. But we’re right in it now.

“We played well and there were spells in the game when we were brilliant, probably miles the better team.

“We looked like the team that was going to win the game, not one that’s right down the bottom. It’s disappointing.

“I got relegated last year with Torquay. I was captain as well and we went down from the National League.

“I don’t want it to happen again. I’m sure that there is more than enough in the dressing room to make sure it doesn’t.

“It was horrible. It was a big club who had been in the league for quite a long time and for them to go down was bad.

“We have to focus on ourselves and hope it doesn’t happen again.

“Four go down from that league and there were five or six teams in it but we just couldn’t do enough in the end.

“We just stayed up the year and that was quite tight.

“It’s going to be a battle and go right to the wire but, hopefully, we can win our next three and not have to rely on the game at Queen of the South on the last day.”

Partick made most of the first half running and created several chances against the leg-weary league leaders, who looked out of sorts after five games in two weeks.

McGinty, a past Republic of Ireland under 21 cap, stressed: “It’s a good point in the end and now we have to make sure that we win our game in hand and win next week against Alloa – it’s a massive game.

“We have to do the business. If we play like that next week, we will win comfortably so we have to make we perform to that level again.

“The boys worked really hard, especially the three in midfield. They ran their socks off and made our life quite easy at the back.

“I’ve never been involved in anything like this. I’ve seen teams who are miles adrift or others who are safe – but nothing like this.

“It’s very tight and it makes it exciting for the fans. We took a lot to Dingwall and we have to thank them.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t nick the win because it’s really tight and looks like it’ll go all the way to the end.”

Partick sat a massive 31 points below County at kick-off, but you wouldn’t have guessed at the gulf in a poor first half, where Thistle made the running.

Partick’s Shea Gordon failed to connect properly on one glimpse of goal, while almost 30 minutes in Jags’ striker Scott McDonald’s weaving run brought another strike wide.

Blair Spittal sparked energy into the tussle with a tremendous dash, dummying past three challenges, before also cutting his attempt off-target.

County frontman Ross Stewart’s saved 30-yard strike on half-time was the hosts’ first serious effort.

Amid the second half battle of wills, there was a waved away 68th minute penalty claim for County after Steven Anderson’s robust challenge on Ross Stewart in the penalty box had both tumbling to earth.

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A Partick flourish late on saw Sean Kelly bring down Blair Spittal right on the far right edge of the box and defender Anderson hammer a powerful strike against Fox’s gloves for a terrific reaction save.

County, given superior goal difference, need one more victory to all but secure the title.

Striker Ross Stewart reckons their first real rest period since winning the Irn-Bru Cup in March will serve them well after five games in two weeks and nine in just over a month.

The 22-year-old stressed: “We were a bit frustrated, but in the end it’s a good point – a point closer to where we want to be.

“Coming off a tough run of fixtures in a short period of time, we’ll take it and move on.

“We just want to take three points from the next game and, if we do that, we’ll see where it takes us, but we know we’re close.

“There is a little bit of fatigue there. The boys weren’t fully at our best or moving the ball as quickly as we’d have liked. That probably suited Thistle.

“With the five games in two weeks, we’re going to be tired. We’ve done really well to keep going in terms of 90 minutes on a really hot day. Thistle played really well.

“But with six days’ rest between now and Ayr, you’ll see a fresher team – and one that will go down there and hopefully create problems and win the game.”