Grant McCann takes a break from Northern Ireland duty

Grant McCann

Northern Ireland midfielder Grant McCann has decided to take a break from international football.

The 33-year-old, who was an unused substitute in the 1-0 win over Russia, wants to concentrate on his role as player/coach with Peterborough United.

"I've been thinking about it now for six or seven months," he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

"I realised it was tie to take a step back and let some of the younger lads come through."

The former Cheltenham Town, Barnsley and Scunthorpe United player has won 39 caps after making his senior Northern Ireland debut against Malta in 2001.

McCann started in 26 of those games and has scored four goals for his country.

"It's not too much to do with my body, it's missing the preparation for Peterborough games and not playing as well, sitting on the bench," he added.

"It sounds a little bit like I'm throwing my toys out of the pram. I'm not. I've had 12 great years with Northern Ireland.

"There were times when I've been on the bench and I haven't said anything. There's a lot of people playing at a higher level than me and you can't really argue about it.

"I'm not retiring. I'd love to get to 40 caps at some stage. At the minute I'm just concentrating on Peterborough."