Monday 11 December 2017

Aiden McGeady admits to mixed emotions about return to old club Celtic

AIDEN McGeady will experience a "strange feeling" when he lines up for Spartak Moscow against former club Celtic in the Champions League tomorrow night.

The Russian side host the Hoops at the Luzhniki Stadium and McGeady, 26, who signed from the Parkhead club in 2010 for reportedly around £9.5 million, will have to contend with mixed emotions at facing his boyhood heroes.

"It'll be the first time I've faced Celtic," he said.

"I try to catch most Celtic games on TV and I keep up to date with what's going on online. But, obviously, I'm now a Spartak player.

"Of course, Celtic are the team I grew up with, the team I support and the team I grew to love, but tomorrow night that all goes out the window."

McGeady admits there is a sense of excitement at the thought of going back to Parkhead.

"To just be back playing at Celtic Park, for a different team, it's going to be a great experience," he added. "When the draw came out my phone was ringing off the hook with everyone phoning and texting me about the draw and how good it was.

"But, yeah, it's going to be exciting."

McGeady was rested for the 3-1 win over Amkar at the weekend which took Spartak to fifth in the Russian Premier League, four points behind leaders Anzhi Makhachkala.

Spartak are looking for their first points in Group G, though, after losing 3-2 away to Barcelona in their opening game as the Scottish champions played out a goalless home draw against Benfica.

The Scotland-born Republic of Ireland player believes the artificial pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium may be a factor tomorrow night.

"Everything's going well," said McGeady. "I think the team is progressing well.

"We've got a new coach and a lot of new players and we're starting to gel together pretty well.

"It's going to be a difficult game for us, and, likewise, I think Celtic think the same.

"Generally, our record over the past few years hasn't been that great at home, but, possibly, Celtic aren't used to playing on this type of pitch [artificial surface], so it's possibly going to be a tricky match for them.

"It's going to be an exciting game."

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