McGeady Not Greedy

Aiden McGeady has been chatting about letting Will Grigg take the penalty that got the Ulsterman off the mark on Tuesday night. “Will [Grigg] wanted the ball and it crossed my mind that he’d not scored,” he said. “That’s important for a striker and for me the biggest thing is us getting out of this division, it’s not about me scoring more than anyone else. I wanted him to score to get himself off the mark and get that monkey off his back. He’d had some chances and hadn’t scored yet, he was a big signing who cost a lot of money and whatever. I wanted him to score [that penalty] and I want him to score 20 goals this season. It’s not about me scoring more goals than anyone else so I was like, ‘No problem – score, get yourself off the mark.’ It’s better for the team if he gets himself off the mark and that’s the way I look at it.”

Strikers are judged by goals,” McGeady added. “If you look at his performances, you’d come away from the games saying, ‘Griggy did well’ but the headline will probably be that he missed a couple of chances. He scored on Tuesday and the headline will be that he’s off the mark. Hopefully now that’s the springboard for him. Hopefully he can be that guy to get us 10, 15 goals between now and the end of the season.”

McGeady also chatted about Josh Maja’s departure and the impact it’s had on our form. “It’s hard to take that many goals out of your team midway through the season, regardless of what you thought of Maja’s all-round game. If you get him a chance in the box, he scores. He’s an unbelievable finisher. Griggy’s a different kind of striker who probably runs more channels than Maj, a different type of hold-up play. In the last couple of games he’s just been unlucky, he’s not got that goal. He had a few chances and it just didn’t fall properly for him but now he’s scored, which is great. I understand we’re on paper probably seen as the strongest team in the division and when you’re not winning games everyone inside the club, not just the fans, feel the pressure. Everyone wants to be promoted, that’s where we want to be. Sometimes you have to be patient. The positivity from the manager and in the group over the last week or so is that the performances have been better, albeit we’ve not been getting the rewards, but on Tuesday overall I thought we played really well, it was disappointing to lose a couple of goals which obviously sets us back a bit but I think the performance clicked.”

The former Celtic man also believes that everything is solid behind the scenes: “If the manager was coming out and criticising the players – which he never does – you might see a little bit of a break in the dressing room if you want to call it that. We had some words after last Friday’s game but it wasn’t anyone singling anyone out, just a discussion about what we think we can do better. I think it was good for the team. Tuesday was a much-needed three points, especially seeing other results. Let’s just see how we go. I can understand playing at a big club when things aren’t going right on the pitch, the crowd and everything else around about it can suck you in a little bit. I understand that because I’ve played at Celtic, Spartak Moscow and Everton – you can feel it on the pitch sometimes It’s down to the individual whether he can rise above that and think, ‘I don’t care what I hear off the pitch or what I see in the papers, I’m just going to play my game and do what the manager trusts me to do.’ This season’s been good because there’s been a lot of changes, a lot of players left and new players come in and it’s probably the first time for a lot of players playing at a club with such demands but I think everyone’s taken it in their stride so far. There’s still almost a third of the season to go. We’re going to treat it like 14, 15 games to get ourselves promoted.”