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Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

AIDEN McGEADY, frustrated by a hefty six-game ban handed down when he was sent off in a Russian league game, says he will try to change his approach to his profession and keep his cool.

McGeady's club, Spartak Moscow, will finish off a disappointing season on Sunday when they play the final match of the league campaign.

A fourth-place finish is the best they can manage so there will be no Champions League football for McGeady next season, unless he moves clubs over the summer, that is.

But the Ireland international will play no part in the season finale, nor the first three games of next season as he's serving a harsh six-match ban, handed down for a red card offence in a league game at the start of this month with the suspension lengthened by the Russian FA for "gestures" which McGeady allegedly made as he was leaving the pitch.

So he will have to content himself with international football for the time being as he hopes to win his 58th cap in the friendly against England next week and then add further caps against Georgia, the Faroe Islands and Spain.

Some good news came for McGeady this week with the withdrawal of Norwich City man Anthony Pilkington strengthening his case for starting in Wembley.

McGeady's future will be scrutinised over the summer, as the lack of Champions League action for Spartak – they are guaranteed a Europa League slot – could tempt the 27-year-old to seek a move back to the UK.

And McGeady, a single-minded and intelligent man who has had run-ins with people like Neil Lennon and Gordon Strachan in the past and has never been afraid to speak his mind, says he may try to simply calm down.

"I need to deal better with smaller matters. In future, I will try to keep my emotions under control," McGeady said as he still tries to get to grips with that six-game ban, awarded after he was sent off in the first half of a defeat away to bottom side Mordovia Saransk.

Temper

"Even though I am passionate and have a temper, I am a thoughtful person. I sometimes get absorbed into myself, I think about the past and the future, about my family, I analyse my own actions.

"Even traffic problems can annoy me. Once in Moscow I was stopped for speeding but the policeman recognised me. He said: 'Oh, that's McGeady from Spartak, no problem, safe journey,'" he says, still upset by the fallout from his recent red card.

"I got angry and I allowed myself to get carried away. I have already apologised for my actions to my team-mates and the supporters.

"But I am still in shock at the reaction of the Russian FA disciplinary committee. I still hope that the appeals committee will listen to Spartak's appeal on my behalf as I really want to play in the last game of the season, against Alania on Sunday.

"It is really hard to be under suspension like this."

McGeady was shown a straight red card in the game and that merited a four-game ban, which was turned into six matches due to his actions as he left the pitch, which reportedly involved a microphone being kicked and then a gesture towards fans who were booing him.

He says: "I know that on my way to the dressing room I didn't behave in the best way possible. I did kick a microphone, because I was angry at having being sent off. But I didn't make any gestures towards the crowd – just look back at the video evidence. Yet for that they gave me another two-match ban, six games in all.

"For the tackle that came before that, which I was sent off for, sometimes you get a yellow card for that, but the opposing player fell to the ground as if I'd broken his leg. And their manager praised the player, said 'Well done, good work' to him.

"That wasn't the first time I have been provoked. Eighteen months ago we played Dynamo Moscow and it was the same, opposing players were at me all the way through the game."

The season has ended badly for Spartak, and failure to reach the Champions League is big blow. "I think we had a psychological problem," he says, assessing why Spartak finished up without a trophy.

Advantage

"We were just not able to hold onto the advantage in key games. Against Lokomotiv Moscow we took the lead but lost, the same against Anzhi. Against CSKA we were 2-0 up but allowed them to get level with us. And I don't think we were switched on for other games which we should have won.

"The problem was in our heads.

"Under Juan Emeri we started with three wins but for some reason that wasn't enough for the team to have real self-belief. And in the end we weren't able to win more than two games back-to-back."

Things could have been worse. He could be facing into life in the Championship next season, as a suggested move to Wigan did not come through, with McGeady admitting that there was only "interest" from the Premier League side.

"Interest and a firm offer are two different things," he says.

Whether McGeady will still be a Spartak player at the start of next season remains to be seen.


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