Aiden McGeady talks Sunderland exit plus Alex Neil, Lee Johnson and Phil Parkinson debacle

Aiden McGeady has opened up on his time with Sunderland in an interview with The Scotsman.

McGeady departed last season after his contract expired, linking up with former manager Lee Johnson at Hibs.

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How McGeady’s Sunderland exit panned out and his next steps

BURSLEM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Aiden McGeady of Sunderland looks on as he makes his way from the tunnel prior to the Carabao Cup First Round match between Port Vale and Sunderland at Vale Park on August 10, 2021 in Burslem, England. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

"If I'd played all last season at Sunderland, chances are I would still be there, but I didn’t, and that's just the way things have panned out,” he said.

"I know I've got another couple of years left in me if I look after myself so it's more about me, I still enjoy playing and I feel I've still got a lot to give.

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"I've done a couple of badges and I'm about a year through the UCFB course in Sports Directorship in Manchester. It's quite heavy-going because I left school at 16 and haven't done any essays since then, but I have to do 3,000-word reports with Harvard-style referencing and stuff.

"I don't want to sound disrespectful but I could retire today if I wanted to, and be fine financially, but I still have that hunger to play football and know I can still perform at this level.

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"I'm just doing things while still playing; I did quite a lot last season when I was injured to see what I fancied doing once I've finished.

"I probably would like to stay in football but I want to put it to the back of my mind because as soon as you start talking about coaching and things like that then it's like you're phasing yourself out, and I don't want to think of it that way. "There's the media as well...”

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Sunderland didn’t try to keep McGeady

"There were no discussions about staying and I couldn't really see myself staying with the way Sunderland is being run at the minute anyway.

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"They are very much focused on bringing in young players and developing them with high-asset value and I don't really tick that box.

"Alex Neil never got a chance to play me. Or rather, he did, but his team was settled and doing well. He was quite structured in the way he wanted to play, and his starting XI, and the team that had been successful for him before I was fit.

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"I didn't really get the chance to play so it was a bit frustrating the way it finished, but I was part of the play-off final and we got promoted and it was always the aim to get back up."

McGeady on Parkinson and Johnson

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"I'd been cast off into the 23s at Sunderland under Phil Parkinson, and hadn't played for a year. I'd gone on loan to Charlton but stayed, Lee got the job on the Friday night and phoned me saying, 'Listen, I'm getting the job, do you want to start tomorrow against Wigan?'

"I hadn't played a game in four or five months so I wasn't going to turn it down. From then on I played every game, we got to know each other.

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"We clash at times the same way every manager and player will every now and then but he doesn't mind you having your own opinion and expressing it, and debating and having a discussion about things.”