'I'd forgotten what it was like to be a footballer'- Aiden McGeady
Published 04/02/2016 | 17:59
After a difficult period at Everton, Aiden McGeady is determined to use his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday to help the club to promotion and secure a place in Ireland’s Euro 2016 squad.
In a bid to revive his career at both club and international level., McGeady signed with the Championship side on Monday in a loan deal that will keep him at Hillsborough until the end of the season.
The former Celtic winger made just one appearance for the Toffees this season in the Capital One Cup last August, and was in desperate need of a change of scenery.
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, the 29-year-old described an increasingly deflating existence on Merseyside since the beginning of the current campaign and, how he feared for his future in an Ireland jersey.
“I’ve had a very difficult six months, I’ve not played at all really. I’d forgotten what it was like to be a footballer to be honest, training Monday to Friday and having the weekends off. I just want to get back playing football and enjoying it again.
“The last time I played was August, I’ve had a few games for Ireland since, some substitute appearances, but I was totally out of the picture at Everton. We’ve got the Euros and I have to be playing and playing well to guarantee I make the final squad.”
McGeady went onto detail his communications with Ireland manger Martin O’Neill, in which the man who gave him his professional debut at Celtic urged him to get a move elsewhere.
Despite his lack of game time under Roberto Martinez, McGeady remained a familiar face in O’Neill’s squads at the tail end of the qualification run for France and, including the play off games with Bosnia & Herzegovina, made substitute appearances in three of the last six matches.
“He (O’Neill) kept saying I had to get out and play. The manager couldn’t really justify picking me if I was still in the same sit I was in. I would have been a year without playing if that was still the case. It was something I had to do because that is something I wouldn’t want to do anyway just sitting there training but not playing. You’re wasting your time really.
“I know you’re still getting paid, of course it’s a job, but you want to be playing. I wasn’t enjoying it at all put it that way. It got to October/November time and I knew I had to get out.”
Looking ahead, McGeady will first seek to nail down a stating place in Carlos Carvalhal’s side, who currently lay seventh in the Championship, and hope it’s sufficient enough to convince O’Neill that he’s up to the task of going to France.
“My main goal is to be playing and help the team push for promotion, go to the Euros and see what happens after that. The team here is doing well but it’s obviously down to me to get into it and I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think I was going to play or if I didn’t have confidence in own ability.”