Mccann Optimistic

Grant McCann hopes his season's fortunes have changed following his promotion to the substitutes' bench at Bolton and the gaining of a second full cap for Northern Ireland last week.

Grant played against Poland in Cyprus - the 221 crowd hardly being the biggest he has performed in front of in his career - and he says: "I made my debut in the Malta game but this was better because we had the full squad. I didn't think I was going to come on but I got a run at left back and enjoyed it."

Grant, upon his return to Chadwell Heath, was able to tell his colleagues about a rare Steve Lomas goal, from a corner, and laughs: "It was a scrappy goal but a good finish!"

It was a doubly good week for the McCann household with younger brother Ryan getting a debut for the under-21s.

"He came on for 25 minutes or so and he was over the moon with that," says Grant.

But why didn't he follow his older brother to Upton Park?

Says Grant: "He was meant to come but he chose Rangers instead. Perhaps he would have kept me out of the team!"

As for his own career at Upton Park, he says: "It's up and down at the minute. Ever since the Blackburn game I haven't been involved but I was on the bench at Bolton.

"Hopefully it is starting to look up again now and I can get back in the team.

"A few clubs came in for me on loan but Glenn didn't want me to go so hopefully that is a good sign.

"I'm not too sure who they were and he said he wanted me to stay and continue here.

"Hopefully I can get a couple of games in before the end of the season. Then I have one more year on my contract and I'd really want to be involved in all the games next season."