Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

McGeady prepared to pounce from the bench

Aiden McGeady is preparing for the biggest games of his Irish career conscious that his role may be that of a super sub.

The return of Damien Duff means the Celtic winger's participation is in doubt ahead of Saturday's first leg showdown with France at Croke Park, with Stephen Hunt and Liam Lawrence also vying for starting berths.

Hunt was in possession of a sacred bib at training in Malahide yesterday which might suggest he is ahead of McGeady and Lawrence, but Trapattoni has admitted it is a dilemma and either way, it's likely that all four options will be involved at some stage over the two legs.

“Four doesn't go into two, and there are going to be two who are disappointed,” said McGeady, “Hopefully I'm not one of them.

“Liam Lawrence came in against Italy and played really well. He was probably man of the match.

“It would be disappointing (to be a sub) but sometimes it's not down to playing badly. It just depends on the game.

“For the games I'm not starting, I'm always pretty sure that with about 25 minutes or half an hour to go the manager will give me a shout to go on.”

McGeady has matured as a player for Ireland during this campaign, yet he has regrets. He believes that if the team as a whole had been more clinical then they may not even have required a play-off. It's all about belief.

“I think in the past sometimes, we were trying to avoid defeat away from home but now we're looking to win games,” he said.

“With a bit of luck in the campaign we could’ve won the group.”