Aiden McGeady told to produce more – and roll up sleeves if things start getting tough

Aiden McGeady.
Aiden McGeady.

Chris Coleman wants Aiden McGeady to produce his matchwinning form when Sunderland take on Brentford.

The Irish international delivered a stellar display in the comeback at Bristol City and he now looks certain to start at the Stadium of Light.

McGeady is the club’s top scorer this season following Lewis Grabban’s departure and could benefit from a change of formation to reclaim his place.

Coleman said: “He came on for most of the second half and offensively he was right into it.

“He was very direct, not getting caught holding the ball for too long, he got passes off, switching the play. He showed great imagination, he was very quick in his thinking.

“He’s a matchwinner on his day, of course he is, but we need more days.

“We need him at this best, and he needs to roll his sleeves up and be part of the team even if things aren’t coming off for him. Then those around him need to protect him because he has that ability to create something.”

Coleman is also set to welcome Jonny Williams back into the fold after Liverpool loanee Ovie Ejaria picked up an injury.

Williams has not featured since the 2-2 draw with Millwall in November and the Sunderland boss believes the 24-year-old will add a different dimension to his midfield.

He said: “With Ovie coming from Liverpool, he (Williams) can take the ball and he tries those little passes through the lines.

“He had a kick on his leg when he joined us, he’s been playing through it and done OK, but it was a bridge too far for him this week and he pulled up in a session the day before yesterday.

“He stretched for the ball and felt very uncomfortable.

“We were hoping it would have calmed down over the last 48 hours but, so far, it hasn’t so I don’t think he is going to be involved.

“Jonny is the same [type of player] – he will commit two or three players and then try a little slip pass.

“It will be nice to get him back because he is a bit different to what we have got.

“We have Aiden and Callum who are jinky wingers. Jonny is not like that, he commits players.”

Adam Matthews is also in contention as Coleman chooses his side from arguably the biggest pool of available players he has had since arriving on Wearside.

He will, however, continue to take a cautious approach with Paddy McNair as he recovers from a groin problem.