Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton has laughed off suggestions that Aiden McGeady may not be involved for Sunderland in the second leg of their Sky Bet League One play-off semi final, with the Imps boss telling Lincolnshire Live that there is more chance of himself playing.
The Sincil Bank outfit currently hold a 2-0 lead over their North East opponents heading into the second leg of the tie on Saturday after goals from Tom Hopper and Brennan Johnson put them in the driving seat on Wednesday night.
Now Sunderland having seemingly been dealt another blow, with Chronicle Live reporting that a dispute between McGeady and the Black Cats’ hierarchy over his current contract has thrown the Irishman’s involvement in this weekend’s game into doubt.
It is said that if the former Celtic man makes one more appearance for Lee Johnson’s men, he will activate a 12 month extension clause that is written into the terms of his current deal.
However Appleton has now laughed off suggestions that the influential winger could be left out by Lincoln’s opponents and made the following comments on the speculation:
“There’s more chance of me playing for us tomorrow than there is on McGeady not playing for them.
“100 per cent, 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.
What club do these 21 former Lincoln City players ply their trade at now?
“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.”
All eyes will now be firmly set on the Stadium of Light this weekend as the second leg takes place on Saturday at half three in the North East.
I think it’s fair to say that Appleton will be quietly confident that his side can finish the job this weekend, with Sunderland seemingly falling into disarray.
As the Imps boss quite rightly points out, McGeady is easily one of the club’s best players and it would be a massive shock if he is left out for tomorrow’s game.
I do think he will still be involved as the Black Cats need all the help they can get if they are to overturn the current deficit.
However I think it will prove to be too big a task as Appleton’s men are firmly in the ascendancy as they aim to secure a place at Wembley Stadium.