Simon Grayson believes Aiden McGeady has fallen back in love with football after watching him score a stunning goal in the 3-1 win over Norwich
Grayson made McGeady his No.1 target when he took charge, moving quickly to seal his signature for a bargain £250,000 fee from Everton.
McGeady – who Sunderland tried to sign for £9million five years ago – scored the second goal from 22-yards, his fierce left-foot drive giving Angus Gunn no chance.
Grayson insists McGeady is as good a player as anyone he has worked with and praised the 31-year-old, who had grown disillusioned with life at Goodison Park.
Grayson, who had him on loan at Preston last season, said: “It is a snip when you consider we tried to buy him five years ago for £9million!
“He is a player that has immense ability. He fell out of love with the game before I took him to Preston last year – I let him express himself.
“His ability is as good as anyone I have worked with and he has fallen back in love with the game.
“He was my first port of call when I took over. I wanted to sign him. It took a few weeks to get done, but £250,000 is not a bad deal!”
A Lewis Grabban brace either side of McGeady’s stunning strike sealed victory, though a late Grabban own goal ensured a nervy finish.
Grayson said: “They carried out the gameplan – let them have it in certain areas and break quickly on the counter-attack and be clinical.
“When you play against a team that likes to play through the lines and from the back you have to be organised and disciplined and know when to press.
“When it goes into certain areas, get the ball back quickly, defend properly and deal with set pieces and, when we get the ball, break and play with a carefree attitude.
“The players have a smile on their faces and are enjoying what they are doing, but we are not getting carried away – we are only two league games into the season.
“It is a strong and positive start. We have suffered challenges before the season started, but this is a group together – and that is a big thing.”