After his masterclass against Doncaster on Saturday, Aiden McGeady has been chatting about how things changed so quickly for him following the departure of Phil Parkinson and the arrival of Lee Johnson…
“It's funny how football changes, because a year ago I was the pantomime villain. And then, when I came back - you become a better player when you don't play, don't you? That's the way football is sometimes and I went from the pantomime villain to almost like the hero when I came back. I was thinking there was a lot of pressure because I've not actually played a lot of football - but it just shows you football can change very quickly. I'm just glad to be playing. After the year I've had, it's been difficult. I've had all sorts of things said about me and labelled against me, and I think the proof is in the pudding. I'm glad to be back playing and I think the players are happy to have me back.
THANKS TO LJ
"I've got to give the manager a lot of credit as well because straight away he's come in and said 'you're going to be a big player for me.' He's said that from day one and I have to give him a lot of thanks as well. Ultimately it's not about me, the end goal is about the team getting up. It's as simple as that.”
“With the ball, yeah, I've got a lot of freedom. Without the ball he can be quite rigid in how he wants the team to play and press. With the ball I can kind of go where I want and do what I want as long as other players fill in and you get back into shape as quick as possible. He's totally different from what we had before in terms of how he wants the team to press and play - and it's difficult for him because he's not had a lot of time with the team to implement his ideas, so we're trying our best to take it in and put it on the pitch.”
“I played no games from July. That was my last game at Charlton on loan and I played no games - I played about an hour for the ressies, and then mid-December the manager said 'do you want to play' and I said 'yeah'. It is going to take time to get up to completely the way I felt a year and a half ago, but slowly I think I'm maybe getting there.”
“It's not up to me. The manager has mentioned to me that he sees that I've got two or three years left in me at this level or higher. I was playing last season in the Championship for Charlton and I'm not saying I ripped it up. but I felt I could still play there myself. My hope is to just carry on playing for Sunderland as long as I can. When I signed that extension over a year ago I could have left, but I like it here. I could have left in the summer, I probably should have left in the summer, but I thought the way things were going it was best to stick around, if you know what I mean.”