Aiden McGeady’s Sunderland form could lead to an international recall, with the winger just eight caps away from a century of Republic of Ireland appearances.
That’s the view of Jack Ross, even if the Black Cats boss would prefer to have the wide man all to himself as Sunderland chase promotion.
McGeady’s stunning 67th minute strike proved the difference against AFC Wimbledon, Sunderland running out 1-0 winners to keep up with the pace at the top of League One.
The winger has eight goals in 23 appearances this season and the Echo understands ex-Sunderland, now Republic boss, Mick McCarthy is keeping tabs on his form.
McGeady, 32, has 92 caps. His last international appearance coming two years ago in 2017.
Ross said: “I think he still has a desire to play for his country but selfishly we don’t want to miss any more games between now and the end of the season, so if you are looking for me to push him to be called up, then I’m going to say he has played terribly!
“But seriously, I know he is on 90-odd caps and like any player on that number getting to 100 caps is a big incentive and I certainly don’t think he has closed the door on it either and I am sure if he keeps playing as he is doing then he will get that opportunity. Just don’t write that!
“I’ve played against Aiden so I know he creates a lot of worry for defenders and the expectancy is that he’ll do it every single time. That’s what it’s like because when the ball goes to him, we know he’s got so much quality.
“It’s quite interesting because sometimes if he has the ball taken off him, there’s almost a cry of frustration from the fans because that expectancy is so high on him.
“But I do believe that if we can isolate him with people, then the majority of time he’ll produce something because he’s that good.
“There is no doubt how good a player Aiden is. I think he’s enjoying himself and enjoying the contribution he’s made and you can see that. I’ve really enjoyed working with him.
“Players are all different, they all have their own challenges and character but he cares. He cares about his football and his standards so if he has a poor game and doesn’t go past people it bothers him.
“He’s not just a talented player. You don’t have the career he’s had in the game without a drive and determination to win games and get the better of your opponent.
“Players can show that and it manifests itself in different ways.
“He doesn’t speak publicly that much, but he has that in him. You don’t get 90-odd caps for your country and play in the Champions League without that.”
The former Celtic and Everton winger is in his second season on Wearside having joined in the summer of 2017.