Aiden McGeady responds to question over his Sunderland future - in a message that fans will love
Aiden McGeady says he is keen to extend his stay at Sunderland – with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.
The winger, who netted a vital leveller in the 1-1 draw at Peterborough United on Easter Monday, has been in dazzling form of late and has helped the Black Cats surge up the League One table.
A 12-game unbeaten run has lifted spirits on Wearside, while Kyril Louis-Dreyfus takeover has also led to a shift in mood at the club.
So would McGeady – who is one of a host of players whose current deals at the Stadium of Light come to an end in the summer – want to be a part of what looks to be exciting future?
"Of course I do,” he said, speaking after the stalemate at London Road.
“I never wanted to leave Sunderland last January, I wanted to stay. That's why I didn't leave in the summer.
“I'm happy here and I want to be a part of the team that goes back up and then part of the team that maybe goes back up again - that's the dream, for everyone here.”
While he may have turned 35 on Easter Sunday, McGeady’s influence on the side is far from waining.
With 12 assists and four goals in League One since returning to the side in December, the former Celtic and Everton man is playing a key role in Sunderland’s push towards the top two.
And McGeady’s latest league goal could prove a vital one as he earned the side a point at Peterborough with a well-taken free-kick – having already come close from a similar set piece.
“The first one was maybe a better free-kick, a bit more pace on it and more towards the corner,” he explained.
"But there was probably just too much pace on it to take it away from the top corner.
“It's something that I work on in training and whenever it's around that range, the edge of the box, I always fancy myself. Today, it got us a point.
“The last few weeks I've been coming quite close - I hit the post against Bristol Rovers and last week the goalie made a decent save - but today was just a bit closer in.
"I'm just grateful. I think the goal they scored sparked us into life a little bit and ultimately it's a point on the board from a difficult place to come.
"The conditions were not great for football at all and it was a bit of a battle, but ultimately it's still in our hands.
“I think it was a must-not-lose game,” he continued.
"It would have been great to win and before the game if you'd have offered us 1-1 we'd probably have said no. But the way the game went, the conditions - I don't want to keep going on about conditions, but it wasn't really a day for playing football today.
"In this league sometimes you need to have those battling qualities and that point could be big come the end of the season.
“It could be a big goal but it's down to us in the rest of the season to show how big of a goal it could be.
"It's down to us to win our remaining games and it's in our hands. It's not as easy as that as no games in this league are easy.”
Moments of magic such as that vital free-kick leave Lee Johnson in no doubt that McGeady still has plenty left in his locker.
Indeed, the Sunderland head coach has backed the winger to enjoy some more years in the game.
"He’s a winner,” said Johnson after the Peterborough game.
“He wants to play, he wants to influence and affect things. There might be times where we decide he’s going to have the rest, but I didn’t feel that today.
"I think he’s a got a couple of years left in him. He’s fit as a fiddle in terms of his sharpness.
"He’s still sharp over that five, ten yards He’s as quick as anyone if we did a ten-yard race.
"Obviously you’ve got to look after your body – eat right, drink right, sleep well – and I don’t see any reason why he can’t continue to play.”
And having been told of those comments, McGeady offered a tongue-in-cheek response – while echoing some of the views of his manager.
"I hope he stands by that come the end of the season when I'm out of contract!,” he joked.
"I turned 35 on Sunday but I still feel young and it's crazy to say I'm 35 now.
“It feels like only yesterday I made my debut, but in terms of my body and how I feel physically - I'm still one of the sharpest over ten yards at the club. I still feel fit, I still feel like I can contribute.”
McGeady is far from alone in playing for his future in the final weeks of the campaign, but is confident that such issues aren’t dominating the thinking of his teammates as they focus solely on finishing in the top two after a tumultuous few years.
"I don't think anyone is looking at that,” said the winger.
"Of course that's in the back of your mind, but I think everyone wants to be a part of a team that goes up and be part of this team because the last couple of years there have been so many things happening at the club.
"Two new owners, change of managers left, right and centre and we need a bit of stability. I think hopefully we have that now and it would be the icing on the cake if we get promoted.”