Wednesday 21 March 2018

McGeady ready for real work to start

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

AIDEN McGEADY is ready for the Euro 2012 preparations to really step up a gear after tonight's friendly with Hungary.

The Spartak Moscow player is keen to make a big impression in the friendly fixture after his starring cameo in the Lansdowne Road win over Bosnia last weekend. However, the winger -- who will definitely start the opening game with Croatia next Sunday -- also knows that tonight's fixture effectively marks the end of one stage of the journey.

"After this game, preparations will really start in terms of watching more games and more videos and more analysis of the other teams in the group," he says, with particular reference to the Croats.

"Just now, it's been training, and training, and training, and one day at a time, because there's been a long way to go."

Nevertheless, the 26-year-old welcomes this diversion to Budapest en route to Poland as it mixes things up for the group.

Some members of the team have been already in camp for two-and-a-half weeks and McGeady, who joined up a fortnight ago, says that moving between Ireland, Italy and Hungary has helped.

"If we were staying the whole time in Dublin, it would be a little bit more difficult," he says. "But the fact we're changing every day, it helps. Even in Italy, when the manager gave us the day off, it helped. It's actually not been as bad as I thought it would be, or as boring. That's what you hear about when you're away at major finals, but it's been okay."

The fact that McGeady's room-mate is long-term pal Darren O'Dea also reduces the boredom factor, even if it does occasionally lead to tension.

They go right back to their days together at Celtic where they also roomed together, and McGeady admits that familiarity sometimes breeds contempt.

"We've a very comfortable relationship," he grins, "but the other day at training, we were moaning at each other. That's how it goes when you know each other a long time.

"He was one of my best mates at Celtic, and there's nothing worse than getting put in a room with someone you don't really know that well... there are awkward silences with Darren sometimes if we have a little row, but nothing too bad."

As the tournament draws closer, the small talk will take care of itself anyway.

"It was a long week in Italy and a long few days in Portmarnock as well, but we're getting closer and closer and the excitement is building now. The training has had a really good tempo, and a high intensity."

McGeady's display against Bosnia raised the bar for the others. His challenge now is to maintain that level.

Irish Independent

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