THERE was a young boy growing up in the streets of a small Lanarkshire village who had a dream to make it as a professional footballer.

The only issue was that others took one look at the Chapelhall native and believed it was nothing more than a pipe dream.

Fast forward to 2019 and the little boy so many doubted spent the best part of 15 years at Glasgow giants Celtic, winning five trophies, before going on to captain Bournemouth, Norwich City and Reading and pick up caps for Scotland along the way.

Peter Grant knows all about ignoring the voices of those who expect him to fail and it's something which has driven the 53-year-old on from day one.

The former Scotland assistant – who was once chased through Airdrie by the infamous Section B after picking up a man of the match award against the Diamonds – is now in the dugout at the Recs, but it's the same old narrative.

Ahead of their season opening draw with Maryhill side Partick Thistle, the Wasps will have spent the week reading an endless number of prediction tables placing them dead last come May.

It's a good thing he still has the same attitude to predictions as he did half a century ago.

"I couldn't even tell you (about the predictions) as I don't listen to them as the proof is on the pitch," Grant said.

"The bottom line is that it doesn't matter what anybody says and I've never bothered with it in my career.

"They used to tell me I was hopeless and ended up playing 500 games and captained every team I played for, but they told me I was hopeless.

"It's never worried me and it's not going to start to worry me now.

"We are in the league to challenge and I don't care who it is. It was the enthusiasm of the chairman which brought me here and, hopefully, I can get that out to the players.

"If we can get some more people in through the doors if we make them aware of how we are going to play then that's what I want to do."

The Wasps certainly took Grant's philosophy to heart in the opening 45 minutes of their draw with Partick Thistle on Saturday as they dominated from kick-off.

Alan Trouten was credited with opening the 2019-20 Championship account as he poked Steven Hetherington's long-range effort past Jamie Sneddon while Jon Robertson also threatened.

But the visitor's improved after the break and eventually snatched a point when Joe Cardle pounced to fire home.

Grant continued: "I thought we were very good during spells of the game, but you know you are going to be under pressure against very good players.

"We dominated so much during the first half without ever really creating the quality of chance we wanted, but then it takes two world-class saves from Neil not to lose the game.

"I think the players deserved more out of the game and there's no doubt in my mind about it."

Grant added 22-year-old Blair Malcolm to his ranks last Friday and the former Cowdenbeath man was an unused substitute in the game.

Celtic youngster Robbie Deas is also on the verge of making the switch to the Wee County, but no deal had been confirmed by the time Advertiser Sport was going to press.

"Robbie is one I have looked at right from the start," Grant revealed. "I understand with Celtic there's a slight problem with Robbie and he's got a slight strain so has missed a couple of weeks.

"It's important the players that come in are schooled in the correct way as this is a tight-knit group and it's not just the playing side but the character I've got to look at.

"I've got no doubts if it happens with Robbie he will be a big asset and it's something we're looking forward to getting done."