Wing ace McGeady on the up and up
Aiden McGeady was all for going the full distance in Preston's win at Rotherham as he made his comeback from a hamstring injury.
The winger clearly wanted to make up for lost time after a month on the sidelines, and he caught the eye in the New York Stadium victory.
One particular skilful piece of play from him set up the second goal for Callum Robinson.
He lasted 88 minutes before being given a breather in stoppage time, replaced by Jermaine Beckford.
PNE boss Simon Grayson revealed he had considered giving McGeady about an hour of action before substituting him, in order to ease him back.
But the Republic of Ireland international clearly felt he could go on for longer.
Grayson said: “With Aiden coming back from a hamstring injury, we were a bit wary of him playing too much.
“I thought we would give him 60 or 65 minutes and maybe substitute him.
“When I mentioned that at half-time, Aiden nearly ripped my head off, saying he wanted to stay on!
“To be fair, his fitness wasn’t lacking, he looked a constant threat to the Rotherham defence.
“We gave him as much time on the pitch as we did and hopefully that will stand him in good stead.”
McGeady missed five games after straining his hamstring in the latter stages of the 2-0 win over Aston Villa on October 1.
His return on Saturday was a timely one, as he came into the team to replace the suspended Ben Pearson. Paul Gallagher switched inside to Pearson’s role in the centre of midfield, with McGeady operating wide.
Said Grayson: “It was nice to have him back and he gave us that option out wide.
“Aiden has got quality, that is why we brought him to the club before the deadline.
“When we signed him, I said that he had a bit of X-factor about him – that has given us something different.”
McGeady’s performance at Rotherham earned him a place in the Football League’s team of the week.
The 30-year-old has a stint of international duty next – he is in the ROI squad for their World Cup qualifier against Austria in Vienna on Saturday.
Also away with his country during the international break is Bailey Wright.
He flew out to join up with the Australia squad following the Rotherham game.
The Socceroos have a World Cup qualifier against Thailand in Bangkok next Tuesday.
Grayson is quite pleased to have the fortnight’s break in action between Championship games – PNE resume against Wolves at Deepdale a week on Saturday.
He said: “We had a lot of games in October – it was a busy month for us.
“When we come back, there are only the two Saturday games in November and then we get into December and the run-up to Christmas period.
“This break, like the last one, has come at the right time for us.”