herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Boss trusts rusty McGeady

Aiden McGeady
Aiden McGeady

AIDEN McGeady is ready to face into a make or break Euro 2016 clash with Poland despite the fact that he hasn't played football in anger for weeks according to Ireland boss Martin O'Neill.

"Aiden is very, very important to us. He had a great start against Georgia and I thought he continued that on, though he might have been a bit disappointed in Scotland."

"But, overall, he is important to us. And I think the change of environment for the week might just give him that lift. I'm hoping for that," said O'Neill

"You can get away with it on a bit of adrenaline if you're reasonably fit. And I think he's been fit for a number of weeks but just hasn't played for Everton. So I think adrenaline can carry you a certain distance."

O'Neill is clearly disappointed that McGeady is still idling at Everton when his fitness is fine.

"It's a disappointment from this side but I'm not in charge of their club commitments. It would be great, absolutely fantastic, if players were coming in here on the back of having played the last couple of weekends but you always sense it's never going to be that way.

"I was involved as a player and we would have had players coming in for Northern Ireland who hadn't played regularly at club level but suddenly got a lift from playing international football. That's what I'm hoping for here."

O'Neill will not allow any player's club circumstances to be a decisive factor in whether he pulls on a green shirt at international level.

"If I was to make that judgement on every single player at club level I might be listening to the wrong comments," he said.

"Roberto Martinez is absolutely entitled to pick whoever he wants at club level. If he doesn't think Aiden is playing well enough to merit a place in his team, that's up to him."

"We've a different aspect here. We sometimes maybe don't have that particular choice in hand for players in that position.

"Aiden is very, very important to us. He had a great start against Georgia and I thought he continued that on, though he might have been a bit disappointed in Scotland. But, overall, he is important to us. And I think the change of environment for the week might just give him that lift. I'm hoping for that," said O'Neill.

O'Neill is not worried that McGeady's confidence might be low given the fact that he is not in Martinez's plans at the moment.

"Personally, I think he would be a bit disappointed he's not in the starting side at Everton. But, that aside, he's here, he knows what he's done for us in the recent past and that should give him a lift."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News