Mccann Called Up

Grant McCann has been called up for Northern Ireland's World Cup game in Malta after Keith Gillespie and Neil Lennon were forced to pull out.

Grant was initially named for the under-21 squad but his promotion clearly indicates that boss Sammy McIlroy sees him as ready for a possible place on the bench - and is further proof that his career, so beset by injuries in his teenage years, is on the up.

The left footed youngster made his debut at Middlesbrough last season and has had squad involvement this season, appearing as a substitute against Liverpool and Leeds in the opening two matches of the campaign.

Much like Shaun Byrne from the other side of the Irish border, he regards this season as make or break as far as his West Ham first team career goes.