BILLY GILMOUR has little legs but a long memory — and he will never forget being ‘bullied’ by Harry Maguire.
And 5ft 6in midfielder Gilmour learned a hard and valuable lesson against United’s 6ft 4in centre-half.
Yet he proved just how far he has come on Tuesday night with a brilliant man-of-the-match performance.
The Glaswegian, 18, ran rings round Liverpool in the FA Cup to show he can compete with bigger boys — and win.
He said: “That was pointless for Maguire but obviously he is going to try to bully young ones and that’s where I need to learn how to be stronger.
“I have been working on that and can only get stronger as a player.
“But that was definitely a learning curve when he gripped me up in the box. I remember that very well.
“Basically, he was saying I’m a wee guy. He was pushing me off, gripping me by the throat and that’s something I have to deal with.
“But I won’t let that happen again, that’s for sure.”
United’s captain might want to watch his ankles for teethmarks when he next faces Chelsea — which could yet be this season with both teams still in the FA Cup.
Gilmour has already proven himself a tough cookie mentally.
I’m not here to be just a player being quiet. I need to tell folk to get into position. It’s the same for people telling me. That’s how I get better and they get better.
He joined Chelsea for £500,000 from Rangers in 2017 just after taking his GCSEs and moved to Surrey on his own, aged just 16.
His mum had planned to join him, but a decision was taken for Gilmour to go it alone and live with a host family to help him mature.
Gilmour showed why he is so highly rated by Blues boss Frank Lampard by running rings around Liverpool in their 2-0 fifth-round win.
Lamps first clapped eyes on Chelsea’s newest talent off the production line while studying for his coaching badges at the club’s Cobham training HQ and has raved about him ever since.
The win over Jurgen Klopp’s runaway Premier League leaders was only his third start — but already he feels settled.
And the pint-sized midfielder is already gaining a reputation for having a big heart.
Gilmour said: “I’ve had a bit of a taste of it now, so wasn’t really nervous. I was more looking forward to going out there and showing what I can do.
“It was a really good game. We won, stuck together and played really well.
“What’s not to love? And to beat Liverpool as well!
“I’m not here to be just a player being quiet. I need to tell folk to get into position. It’s the same for people telling me.
“That’s how I get better and they get better. Just telling folk to help out.
“I have to communicate well, specifically with my position and the way that I play.”
Gilmour has adapted his game to make the most of his talents, appreciating he will never outmuscle the big guys.
Ahead of Sunday’s home Premier League clash against Everton, he added: “When I came to Chelsea we were given individual action plans and had to focus on a player.
“Mine was Cesc Fabregas — I just loved how he played.
“So I watched a lot of videos of him and, now I’m older, I’ve tried to put it into the games and it’s working.”