Sunderland winger makes honest admission after Fleetwood Town draw
Aiden McGeady says Sunderland’s game management against Fleetwood was ‘really poor’ after the Black Cats squandered a two-goal lead at Highbury.
McGeady put his side 2-0 up after converting a 76th-minute penalty, yet Callum Morton pulled one back for the hosts five minutes later.
That left Sunderland hanging onto a slender advantage, and the hosts drew level in stoppage-time when Bailey Wright conceded a penalty which Gerard Garner converted.
The result meant Sunderland were knocked off the top of League One by Wigan, who have the same number of points but a superior goal difference.
Speaking after the match, McGeady gave an honest assessment when discussing the game’s dramatic conclusion.
“The way we handled the last 10 minutes of the game wasn’t good enough from when we went 2-0 up, which is the hardest thing.
“We go 2-0 up and we think we’ll see the game out easily enough here because the last few weeks, we won 2-1 last week and have managed to go on a winning run.
“I just thought the way we handled the last ten minutes of the game was really poor.”
Despite winning five of their first seven league games this season, Sunderland have kept just one clean sheet so far.
And McGeady believes the side should be seeing games out much better, which is something they’ve worked on in training.
“We should be winning games 1-0 in this league, 2-0, 3-0, 3-1. But you don’t want to be having to go into every game having to score three goals to win a game,” he added. “It’s not conducive to trying to get promoted.
“Saying that we scored two today and still only came away with a point, and like I said it was the manner of the draw which was the frustrating thing.
“It feels like a defeat and I’m sure it does for the fans. That’s how it feels in the dressing room.
“It’s just really disappointing because I can’t stress anymore that I thought when we went 2-0 up it was comfort zone.
“That is the period which the manager always talks about in training. This is how we play when we’re 2-0 up, everybody getting on the ball, playing little passes, keeping possession, making the other team work hard and demoralising them.
“We didn’t do that and straight away gave them an opportunity to get back in the game and put the pressure on us.”
Previously, many have thought Sunderland’s gameplan centres around McGeady who has been a regular source of goals and assists.
This season, the likes of Elliot Embleton, Dan Neil and Ross Stewart are also making significant contributions in the final third, meaning there has been less focus on the Republic of Ireland international.
“I’m just happy the team is winning and everybody is contributing because at times last season and the season before if I didn’t play well people would say everything went through me,” McGeady added.
“That was apparently Jack Ross’ gameplan, everything went through me but it wasn’t and that was just the way some people saw it.
“I’m happy that younger players are stepping up to the fore and taking their opportunity because the likes of Embo, Dan Neil, they have been around the first team for a couple of years now.”