Grant: They'll Survive

Grant McCann left Upton Park for Cheltenham Town's own battle against the drop on Tuesday insisting the team mates he has left behind will survive in the Premiership.

Grant got his wish to move on, knowing that his chances of breaking through into the first team ranks at Upton Park had slipped away, though, with his contract up in the summer, he had not expected a permanent move just yet.

But that is what he has got, at a cost to Cheltenham of £50,000 - twice their record fee - and, although he is familiar with the club, having played there earlier in the season on loan, he is going to be working with a new manager.

Ex-Hammer Bobby Gould has taken over from Graham Allner as Cheltenham slipped down the third division, and Grant has already been given the nickname 'Terry' - from the character in Minder - by him.

"I have always wanted to play in the first team and if it wasn't going to be at West Ham it had to be somewhere else," he says.

"And now I have moved I will look forward to playing a few games in front of crowds again - as I need to do at the age of 22.

"Hopefully I can help Cheltenham out of trouble, and, having met Bobby Gould today, he seems really nice; he is part of that Wimbledon Crazy Gang, and I think he will be able to build up team spirit."

Grant saw the writing on the wall some time ago, and he reveals:

"I knew from the start of this season that I wasn't going to get a chance - but I hold nothing against Glenn, who I think is a lovely man.

"It will make no difference if he goes, so I hope he does stay."

Grant had a one year deal on offer from Harry Redknapp before Glenn Roeder stepped in to offer him a two year contract which he accepted, and without which he would have left at the time.

He scored an infamous own goal in the 7-1 defeat at Ewood Park last season but insists:

"I have enjoyed every minute of the four games, I think, that I was involved in - even the Blackburn game which was a one off, and it never affected me.

"Getting Tomas Repka sent off was crucial, and we missed a good chance with Trevor Sinclair's downward header going over the bar when it was 3-1 just before the red card, which killed it."

West Ham bounced back from tat game to finish seventh, of course, and if such a position is out of reach this campaign, Grant is still backing his now former colleagues to beat the drop.

He says it is important to react well to Sunday's 6-0 defeat at Old Trafford just as they did following the Blackburn game, which itself followed hot on the heels of a 5-0 loss at Everton.

"I don't know what happened at Manchester, to be fair," he admits.

"I didn't know what to think when I was watching it - but the lads can definitely turn it round.

"They just need a couple of wins, and there are too many good players to go down.

"It is just a matter of time and hopefully it will start tomorrow night.

"They will have to win the next two home games - and I think they will."