Simon Grayson has defended Aiden McGeady’s celebration after his goal handed Sunderland a 2-2 draw at Preston.
Last year’s PNE player of the year was taunted by a certain section of the Deepdale crowd on his return and hit back after scoring the third goal in five mad second-half minutes.
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Slotting the ball beyond Chris Maxwell in front of the Bill Shankly Kop end the Irishman ran to celebrate in his own half nearer to the North End supporters in the Alan Kelly Town End.
Grayson, also on his return to PNE after leaving for the Black Cats in the summer, compared it to Emmanuel Adebayor’s reaction to scoring for Manchester City against his former club Arsenal back in 2009.
"You are allowed to run around any part of the field and celebrate how you want," he said.
"He took the pressure off me to be fair, so I'm quite happy with that.
“I said to him he looked like Adebayor at City.
"Why shouldn't you celebrate? He was unfairly taunted, I thought, because he was exceptional last year.
"He didn't have a choice to come here, so I thought it was a bit unfair what went off."
Grayson was pleased with his side’s display as they bounced back from a 5-2 humbling at Ipswich on Tuesday night.
George Honeyman gave the visitors a first-half lead before two goals in two minutes from Josh Harrop, a fine free-kick, and Jordan Hugill, a thundering volley, turned the game on its head.
McGeady then profited on some slack defending just before the hour mark as the game ended honours even.
"When you lose a game like the scoreline on Tuesday you want a reaction,” said Grayson.
"We looked a decent team, that was the big thing about us. We showed a lot of character and withstood pressure.
"We were worthy leaders at half-time, limiting them to few opportunities. We matched their energy and desire, they have a lot of pace about them.
"Second half when we had to dig deep, we did do."