herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Aiden 'ready' to hit Europe

AIDEN McGeady says he's ready for the next challenge in his career with Spartak Moscow after helping the club to a win on his debut over the weekend.

The Irish international finally got his Spartak debut out of the way when he started for the club in Saturday's league win over Saturn, but there was no time for McGeady to rest on his laurels as Spartak are away to Marseille on Wednesday.

"I'm ready for the game in France, it's going to be a hard match for us, our first game in the Champions League, but I am ready to do my job for the team," said McGeady, delighted to have his debut out of the way as he played the full 90 minutes for Spartak.

"Overall it was a tense game, the other team gave us quite a few problems, but we managed to get on top of them, and once we got the first goal we were able to take more control of the game. On a personal level I found it hard to get used to the synthetic pitch. it wasn't all that easy for me.



Dribbling

"I think my condition is good. Saturday was only my third game of the season so I am still working on my fitness. I was tired after the game on Saturday and I still have to get up to full fitness," added McGeady, who was played on the right side of the Spartak midfield.

"I don't mind what side of the pitch I play on. I am happy enough to play on the right. I played there a lot when I was younger and, in principle, I am a right winger. That's where I feel most comfortable," he said.

McGeady made an early impact as he claimed an assist for a goal on seven minutes from Brazilian Welliton.

"Welliton is a very fast player and if there is a chance to pass it to him, you have to take it and give him the ball, I was happy just to play a part in the goal," he added.

Spartak coach Valeri Karpin heaped praise on McGeady.

"Aiden had a great game," said Karpin. "On Saturday he displayed the qualities which we bought him for: dribbling, passing, crossing. He supplied the cross for one of the goals but that's not the most important thing, he did well but I know he will play better."

Ireland's other European-based players were also in action over the weekend. Cillian Sheridan clocked up 90 minutes for CSKA Moscow as their indifferent start to the season continued with a 1-1 draw at home to Litex Lovech, CSKA remaining in the bottom half of the league table.

Over in Belgium, Dominic Foley could not prevent Cercle Bruges from going down to a 2-0 defeat by Standard Liege.

Padraig Amond was on the bench for Portuguese side Pacos Ferreira in their 1-1 draw with Maritimo, but didn't get to play.

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