Tony Pulis has opened up on Sunderland’s decision to distance themselves from Aiden McGeady, suggesting he has been in similar situations before.
The former manager was speaking to Quest’s EFL highlights on Saturday night.
McGeady was caught eating a McDonalds with teammate Chris Maguire last December but rather than rediscover his form like the latter, who has scored five in his last ten, the former Celtic winger’s attitude failed to improve.
Phil Parkinson took the decision to distance the ex-Republic of Ireland international from the side, even transfer listing the attacker ahead of the January window.
Sunderland failed to find a permanent suitor for McGeady but on deadline day, he did depart, albeit on loan.
The 33-year-old is now at Charlton for the rest of the season but hasn’t featured for the Addicks in the Championship since making the switch.
And speaking about the action Parkinson took a few months ago, Pulis commented:
“I’ve had lots of occasions where you don’t think players mix the way you want them to mix in the dressing room. Sometimes they can sap the energy of yourself, the coaching staff and the team. Especially lower down in the leagues, you need that spirit and togetherness to get you through games because it’s tough down there. The last thing you need is someone dragging you down and if Phil’s made that decision to move him on then it certainly looks to be a good decision.”
The decision to completely drop the winger from the squad was a brave one and on the face of it, it was rather bizarre.
At a point where Sunderland were struggling, it was rather surprising that they were just going to completely alienate one of their greatest assets.
Parkinson won just two of his opening games in charge of the Black Cats, something that led to considerable fan pressure. However, in the nine matches after McGeady was completely left out of the squad, Sunderland went unbeaten.
It was a rather remarkable turnaround but it just goes to show how settled the squad now are – losing only one of their previous 11 fixtures.
On paper McGeady is one of their most game-changing players, but no individual is bigger than the club and the Mackems are now reaping the rewards from excluding him. Parkinson deserves credit.