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Will Aiden McGeady be a success for SAFC in the Championship? A Preston fan’s view

Sunderland’s newest signing Aiden McGeady was Preston’s player of the year last season and enjoyed somewhat of a career resurgence whilst playing under Simon Grayson at Deepdale. With that in mind, we spoke to Preston supporter and Lilywhite Magic blogger Gary Bond to get his perspective on what we can expect from the former Everton winger ahead of next season in the Championship.

RR: Last time we spoke you said your main worry about Sunderland appointing Grayson would be us signing McGeady. I don't mean to rub it in, but how much of a blow has it been for Preston that he's signed for us and why?

GB: In my opinion, it's a big blow, although not a complete disaster.

Every team needs at least one 'stand out' player and/or someone who can conjure up some magic out of nothing if they want to push for the play-offs/promotion - McGeady is that type of player so of course, I'm gutted!

Hibernian v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly
Simon Grayson completely turned around the fortunes of McGeady last year and Gary thinks he’ll continue to do well with the guidance of our new boss.
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

RR: He's had a poor few seasons before he came to Deepdale but he turned his fortunes around there last year. What is it that Grayson seemed to add to his game? Why did it work so well at Preston under him?

GB: As I mentioned last time, Grayson is a fantastic man-manager and truly is great at making players feel valued but being constructively critical when needed.

Beckford was the same - slagged off rotten by Bolton fans who accused him of being 'lazy'. He was anything but and despite his injury problems, he was fantastic for us. Grayson knows how to get the best from players and how to make sure they feel they're part of a team.

RR: He's known as a tricky winger with the ability to show a little bit of magic to win you a game, but is there more to his game than that? If so, what qualities does he bring apart from the obvious?

GB: He was nicknamed 'McGreedy' by Sheff Wed and Everton fans! Naturally he may be a little greedy but I say that in a good way in that when he sees an opportunity, he goes for it.

Having said that, he is also a team player and helps bring others into the game - some of his passing is absolutely fantastic and can also whip a good ball in.

RR: Grayson has spoken of bringing in the right characters. As we all know SAFC haven't had the best of personalities over the past few years. McGeady certainly has a character, do you think he has the right mentality to play for a club like ours?

GB: I think he has the right mentality and a good personality in and around the dressing room - as mentioned he's great at bringing other players into the game. It really just depends on if the rest of your players have the right mentality too. It’s not good having one player who can show the right mentality. Your whole team need to bond.

RR: The fee we have paid is mooted to be no more than £250k. It seems like a bargain, but based on his performances last season, how much of a bargain is that?

GB: I did hear that his wages are around £40k so may not exactly be a bargain - those kind of wages at this level are very excessive, although Sunderland do obviously have the budget for it. Transfer fee alone, yes I would say it's a bargain for that lowly amount taking into account what he brings to a team.

RR: Finally, how do you feel McGeady will do at Sunderland AFC?

GB: He was brilliant for us last season and as you know won our player of the year. Since he'll still be playing under Grayson and continuing that relationship, I can see more of the same from him at The Stadium of Light. He’s a good player and under Grayson, I think he will do very well. He scores some fantastic goals out of nothing, but also racks up a number of assists too, so he has the whole package.

You can follow Gary at: @shabbagaz84 and Lilywhitemagic at: @LilywhiteMagic

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