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Coleman will get better – McGeady


Aiden McGeady holds off Frank Lampard.

Aiden McGeady holds off Frank Lampard.

Aiden McGeady holds off Frank Lampard.

AIDEN McGEADY heaped more praise on his Ireland team-mate Seamus Coleman after the defender's superb display in last night's 1-1 draw with England.

The good news for Irish fans is that the experienced McGeady reckons Coleman is only going to get better.

With 58 caps on his CV, McGeady is clearly one of the most established players in the Irish side and of the starting XI in green shirts last night, he and John O'Shea were the only players whose Ireland involvement goes back to the Brian Kerr regime.

McGeady's selection in the Ireland side, picked ahead of younger wide players like James McClean and Robbie Brady, was a sign of his place in the pecking order under Giovanni Trapattoni, but it was the still-inexperienced Coleman who came away with the plaudits.

Not only did the Killybegs man do a solid defensive shift but he claimed an assist for Shane Long's 13th-minute goal, one of the high points of Coleman's 12-cap international career.

"Seamus played well, he has had a great season for Everton and he's made the right-back slot his own now. He's been very consistent this season and he is only going to get better," said McGeady. "It was a great cross in for Longy for the goal and a great header. When you put the ball into the box for Shane, he has a great leap on him for the size of him and I wasn't surprised when he stuck it away.

"I could have scored myself, I dragged a couple of shots wide but overall I was happy with how I played and how the team played," added the former Celtic man, who was pleased to find himself in the starting XI as he arrived in the Irish camp later than his team-mates, due to club duties in Moscow with the final game of the Russian league season on Sunday.

"I wasn't expecting to play as I'd played for my club on Sunday so it was good to get into the team and good to be involved in a game of that magnitude. I enjoyed it, it was a good result for us," said McGeady. "Everyone knew coming into the game what the importance of the match was. There hasn't been a game between Ireland and England for 20-odd years so we were all looking forward to it in training before the game.

"You can see that England have a lot of quality throughout their team but we gave a good account of ourselves. It was a good test for us as so many of their players play in the Premier League.



"England are a side that like to attack, both their full-backs press on and it was pretty full-on, it didn't feel like a friendly. (Michael) Carrick was a step ahead of everyone else, I thought,

"It will be a different game now against Georgia but it's all about preparing for the qualifier against the Faroes. We needed a big game last night to set us up for the Faroes match," added the winger.

Last night saw another dose of good news for McGeady, who had been facing a six-game ban from the Russian FA after he was sent off earlier this month. After an appeal, however, that was reduced to two matches, and he was free to play for Spartak in the season finale last Sunday. He added: "All of a sudden I had been given a six-game ban and supposedly thrashed the dressing-room, but basically I got a six-game ban for doing nothing.

"I was glad to get it quashed. I was hanging about for weeks to see what would happen and I was able to get back in for the last game of the season."