Lincoln City boss expecting to face Aiden McGeady on Saturday and confirms goalkeeper change
Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton says he fully expects to face Aiden McGeady in the play-off semi final second leg tomorrow.
McGeady is one start away from triggering an automatic one-year extension to the contract he agreed in the summer of 2019.
The club's hierarchy have reservations about activating that clause in the 34-year-old's deal when they could yet be facing a fourth season in League One.
The parties in question could agree a deal that would allow McGeady to feature without guaranteeing an extension at this stage.
Appleton says he expects that to be the case.
"There’s more chance of me playing for us tomorrow than there is on McGeady not playing for them," Appleton joked.
“100 per cent [I expect him to play], because he’s their best player and they’ve got a lot of money.
“Me, personally, I would [play McGeady], but Lee [Johnson] may not have the authority to do it. I get that.
Listen, I’m saying this tongue in cheek. I’ll be happy [if McGeady doesn’t play] but I’ll be shocked.
“He’s a fantastic player, a match-winner. Most of their best bits of play the other night came when he got the ball.
“They’ve got some other fantastic players in those areas, but McGeady is one who has supplied Charlie Wyke [Sunderland’s leading scorer] for most of the season.”
Appleton also confirmed that West Brom loanee Alex Palmer will return to the starting XI on Saturday.
Palmer suffered a concussion in training last week, leading Lincoln to recruit Josef Bursik on an emergency loan.
Bursik excelled, but the EFL rules mean he will not be on the bench at the Stadium of Light.
“He’s [Palmer] fit and available for the game,” Appleton said.
“I had a good conversation with Joe yesterday and thanked him. He did great on the night and had to make a couple of saves. He looked very assured.
“As good as it was for us as a team, it didn’t do him any harm at all. We’re thankful to Stoke and Michael O’Neill as well.
“With Alex back in, the rules are that he’s not allowed so Sam will be on the bench as normal.”