Jack Ross and Aiden McGeady react after making it a Sunderland sweep of League One awards

Jack Ross says Aiden McGeady's League One Player of the Month award for February was a 'no-brainer'.

By Phil Smith
Thursday, 07 March, 2019, 16:50
Aiden McGeady and Jack Ross with their February awards

The pair made it a Sunderland sweep of the EFL awards, with Ross himself named as manager of the month.

February saw the Black Cats start with three draws, but performances were continually improving and they ended the month with three wins to put them right back in the automatic promotion picture.

They have carried on where they left off in March, beating Plymouth and then booking their place in the Checkatrade Trophy final.

McGeady has been outstanding throughout.

"It's a no-brainer," Ross said.

"Aiden has been outstanding consistently for a long period of time now and this is the reward of that.

“Players recognise him as a match winner and there’s nothing wrong with that. I have got a lot of players who have different attributes and all contribute to us winning, but Aiden has got that x-factor to help us win games.

“There’s few players who are blessed with that ability and obviously working with him day in day out, I’ve understood just how good he is. He is an immensely talented footballer but you have got to have the attitude, desire and application to back that up and he’s certainly done that this season.”

The award was selected by a panel including former Sunderland striker and regular EFL pundit Don Goodman.

McGeady beat Barnsley goalkeeper Adam Davies, Fleetwood Town defender Harry Souttar, and Southend United striker Simon Cox.

Goodman said: "McGeady’s four goals could easily have been five had he not encouraged Will Grigg to take the penalty which was to allow him to open his Sunderland account against Gillingham.“He’s clearly a class act at this level and his all round play, as well as goals and assists set him apart in League One last month.”

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McGeady himself added: “It’s good that your efforts are recognised for your good performances and efforts. The main thing is the team has been playing well, though.

"Personal awards are always nice to have but the team has been doing well and the main objective isn’t that one of us ends us with the Player of the Month or Player of the Season award because we want to get the team promoted.”

Ross himself beat Plymouth Argyle's Derek Adams, Barnsley's Daniel Stendel and Luton Town's Mick Harford to the award.

The Black Cats boss paid tribute to his staff for their work and joked that he hopes to avoid the infamous manager of the month curse on Saturday.

He said: "The good thing is I had a few of them in Scotland and my record after them is OK!

"It's always nice to be nominated.

"I'm slightly surprised to receive it given the records of other managers nominated.

"It's very much a reflection of the staff and all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes."

Former Black Cats defender George Burley, who led the judging panel, said: "February was busier for Sunderland than most.

"Playing six matches, including five in 15 days, and remaining unbeaten took skilful management of resources and the team rewarded Jack by climbing to third in the table with a game in hand over Barnsley, their closest rival.”