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'That goal capped my week'

JON Walters admits that his winning goal for Stoke City finished off a good week for club and country.

The 31-year-old shrugged off the after-effects of playing in Ireland's 1-1 draw away to Germany and popped up with the winner for Stoke against Swansea.

"It was a great way to cap a good week," Walters said.

"We had a good result in Germany the other night and this win tops it off for me personally. It's good for the team too to get back to back home wins and hopefully we can take that into Southampton next week."

But team-mate Glenn Whelan is still a concern for Stoke boss Mark Hughes. Whelan picked up a knee injury early in the second half of that 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen and was not fit to join the Stoke squad for their clash with Swansea, and Martin O'Neill is anxiously awaiting a medical update on the midfielder as the Ireland boss prepares for next month's vital Euro 2016 qualifier in Scotland.

There was a positive update on the injury front for an Irish player this week as Dubliner Chris McCann, sidelined since he suffered a knee injury last March, is close to a return with Wigan and boss Uwe Rosler hopes to see McCann and fellow injury victim Ben Watson play in a behind-closed-doors game this week.

"The good news is that Ben and Chris are not very far away from a return," Rosler revealed. "They will play their first game back this week, so obviously we can see reinforcements are on the way."

Meanwhile, Blackburn Rovers have allowed Ireland U21 cap John O'Sullivan extend his loan stay at League Two side Accrington Stanley. "I said that I wanted to stay longer than a month and thankfully Blackburn have agreed. I am enjoying the experience," says O'Sullivan.