Millar hails 'new' McCann
Published 22/12/2006 | 10:54
Glentoran manager Paul Millar has hailed the attitude of in-form winger Peter McCann who has gone from the Oval scrapheap to a regular starter in just a few short months.
McCann was told by Millar he could leave in the summer and was put on the transfer list with two years still left on his contract.
However, undeterred, McCann announced that he was going nowhere and the former Portadown star committed himself to reclaiming a place in the first team.
With a host of new faces arriving at the east Belfast club, his chances looked slim, but according to Millar, hard work and dedication has put him back in the fold - not to mention a string of impressive performances from the bench.
That saw a few clubs taking notice again but Millar has fought them off and, having taken McCann off the transfer-list, he has no intention of letting him leave now.
"I can't praise Peter enough," said Millar of the ex-Blackburn Rovers trainee. "During the summer I told him that if he could find a club then I would be willing to let him go.
"He told me point blank that he didn't want to go anywhere and he would stay and fight for his place. At the time I thought that was very commendable but I was still prepared to let him go.
"Since then his attitude and his work ethic has been unbelievable. In the summer I sent him with a youth/seconds team away to a tournament in Millisle. He just said 'no problem' and away he went, without complaining.
"And he has been everywhere with the seconds this year and hasn't complained once.
"I then watched him in a seconds game and put him on the bench for our next match.
"Since then he has kept fighting for a place and has now deservedly got into the starting XI."
McCann's remarkable upturn in fortunes means that he is likely to line out for the Glens in Tuesday's Boxing Day spectacular at Windsor Park against Linfield.
It is an amazing turnaround for the 24-year-old, who five years ago on his return from England was one of local football's hottest talents, winning the Northern Ireland Football Writers' Young Player of the Year award in 2001. Having joined Glentoran from the Ports last year McCann found it difficult to find form in a side that in the final months of the Roy Coyle era were on the slide. Things are looking up now though but Millar has warned McCann not to become complacent.
"Of course he still has to work hard to stay there but he deserves a lot of praise for the way that he has conducted himself," he added.