Aiden McGeady opens up on Lee Johnson's impact, promotion race and Sunderland's mentality shift

Aiden McGeady feels that Sunderland's superb form is a reflection of Lee Johnson's attention to detail.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 6:00 am

The 1-1 draw with Peterborough United on Monday afternoon extended the club's unbeaten run to 14 games in all competition, and kept their automatic promotion hopes firmly intact.

The 35-year-old says the training ground work is now clearly visible.

"We do a lot of work on shape and tactics without the ball, with the ball," McGeady said.

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Sunderland winger Aiden McGeady is enjoying life at Sunderland under Lee Johnson
Sunderland winger Aiden McGeady is enjoying life at Sunderland under Lee Johnson

"I think now you're starting to see the fruits of that. It's come to fruition, the way that everyone is buying into it - because you have to.

"He's very detailed in his methods and there's not one player on the park who doesn't know what they're supposed to be doing when they've got the ball or not got the ball. I think you can see we're pretty well-drilled now and the run we're on speaks to that."

There was some disappointinment that the Black Cats were unable to climb into the top two by beating Darren Ferguson's side but McGeady is confident that there has been a shift in mentality at the club that could help secure promotion.

"I don't want to say we're going to get promoted, of course not, but I hope we do," he said.

"If we keep doing the right things and keep playing the way we are, I think we should do.

"It's down to us to maintain our standards. Between now and the last couple of seasons, the Bristol Rovers game is probably a prime example. I don't think we played great. The manager actually spoke about it and said he wasn't happy with the performance and he asked a few of the lads what we thought. I said I wouldn't focus too much on the performance because last season or the season before we probably would have drawn or lost that game.

"That's maybe the shift in mentality and belief that we've got going into these last eight games."

McGeady hopes his superb equalising goal will prove to be key and says the circumstances of the draw means it feels very different to the bitter disappointment of the 1-1 draw on the same ground two years ago.

"There's a big contrast [to two years ago]. I remember when Max scored that was us near enough up, then they scored in the last two minutes of the game and our first season probably fell apart from that moment on," he said.

"I think it's only human nature to slump for a minute, two minutes [after their goal], but you have to pick yourself up quickly.

"We know we have a lot of quality on the pitch and we showed it last week as well - we came from a goal behind to beat Oxford quite convincingly. I think it just shows the belief that we've got now and when we scored we were pushing to get the win as well.

"It's a totally different outlook towards the rest of the season [due to the equaliser]," he added.

"It could prove to be a big point.”

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