Tuesday 11 December 2018

McGeady's Sunderland future in doubt after winger left out in cold

Aiden McGeady. Photo: Sportsfile
Aiden McGeady. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Uncertainty hangs over Aiden McGeady's Sunderland future after he was left on the bench again for last Saturday's draw with Birmingham.

McGeady has been a casualty of new boss Chris Coleman's attempts to steady the ship and a change in formation has resulted in the Irish international dropping to the bench.

The Black Cats remain in the Championship's bottom three after their 1-1 draw with a Birmingham side that played the final quarter with 10 men.

However, Coleman resisted the temptation to turn to McGeady when that opportunity opened up and instead opted to bring in three other subs ahead of him.

The 31-year-old was brought to the club by Simon Grayson after they successfully worked together at Preston.

Grayson had urged the Glaswegian to concentrate on the attacking side of the game but Coleman is looking for something different at this juncture.

His appointment has brought good news for Marc Wilson who has been recalled to a five-man defence that also includes John O'Shea.

Darron Gibson also started against Birmingham although he was withdrawn in the final minutes with a groin problem and his participation in today's meeting with Sheffield United is in doubt.

"Darron Gibson has a groin problem. It's been a tough week and with the games coming up we couldn't risk him anymore than we did," said Coleman.

"He is a big player because he is a good passer."

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy is also worried about fitness issues in his squad ahead of the visit of QPR.

McCarthy was back at old club Wolves last Saturday, but it wasn't a happy return as the Tractor Boys were unable to halt the march of the league leaders.

He had just 15 first team players available before the fixture and young Dubliner Adam McDonnell was called back from a loan at Aldershot to sit on the bench.

"Realistically we are doing as well as we could have hoped to be in this position at this moment," said McCarthy, whose side are sitting tenth in the table but just three points outside the play-off places.

Elsewhere, Brendan Rodgers heaped praise on Jonny Hayes after his weekend goal against former club Aberdeen.

The 30-year-old was on target in just his fifth league start since his summer move and Rodgers suggested the Dubliner was only just coming to grips with his new surroundings.

"He's really taken a step forward over the last couple of months," said Rodgers. "In training he's being that bit more direct. Sometimes you come into a new club, you play it a bit safe and want to be everyone's friend, but now he's really aggressive in his game.

"He was absolutely brilliant."

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