In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, Kevin Phillips, who scored 191 goals during his career, believes that Lee Johnson has told Aiden McGeady he is the main man at Sunderland and has let the winger have control of the dressing room.
McGeady was exiled from the first team under Phil Parkinson, however when Johnson took over he integrated the winger straight back into his side and he has registered 11 assists in 19 league games.
Phillips believes there would have been an agreement between Johnson and McGeady to get the 34-year old back to his best, and that may have come in the form of giving McGeady more responsibilities and a free role on and off the pitch.
Speaking on McGeady’s form since returning to the side in December and his role off the pitch now, Phillips spoke exclusively to FFC:
“He’s a cut above the rest but the biggest thing for Aiden is if he wants to do it himself.
“I think you have to give credit to Lee Johnson. I’m pretty sure he would have said straight away to him, ‘you’re going to be my main man and I’ll let you run the dressing room as long as you’re performing’.
“It looks like Aiden’s playing with a smile on his face, he’s enjoying his football and that’s good man-management.
“He could make himself a real hero on Wearside if he helps the team to get promoted this year.”
McGeady did not feature in Sunderland’s matchday squads until December 5 but he’s only failed to start one game in the league since then.
Since the winger was reintroduced into the first team squad Sunderland have lost just three games in the league which has seen them become serious contenders for automatic promotion.