Sunderland have finished fifth in League One this season, earning themselves a playoff spot in the semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday evening.
Alex Neil will be hoping that his team can give one final push for promotion to the Championship after a successful run in League One since he joined the club to replace Lee Johnson in February, although injury issues have started to plague the team as the season draws to a close.
Dennis Cirkin, Carl Winchester and Nathan Broadhead are all in doubt to be available for the first leg of the semi-final tie at the Stadium of Light on Friday, however, the Black Cats’ boss has had an injury boost in the squad that could make a huge difference in the upcoming games.
Aiden McGeady has not featured in the team since November following a knee ligament injury but has been back in training of late and was on the bench for the final League One fixture of the season against Morecambe.
“He’s made good progress, he’s been on the grass and he has trained with the lads. We’ll take a view [on his fitness].”
With that being said, the 36-year-old who was hailed “gifted” and labelled as having “special quality” by Jack Ross, has been a talisman in an attacking midfield and winger role for Sunderland during his time at the club could have his final hurrah by helping his team gain promotion, as his contract will be up this summer.
McGeady has scored 36 goals and contributed 34 assists in his 149 appearances, with a goal contribution every 156 minutes of game-time for the Mackems, with three of those goals and four assists coming from 14 league appearances this season prior to his injury problems, proving that he can still offer consistency and an attacking threat.
Although the former Republic of Ireland international may not start games with Neil likely to be cautious after his prolonged amount of time off the pitch, he will surely be a great option for the manager to unleash in important stages of the upcoming playoff games and could offer a fresh perspective in the team to inspire Sunderland to secure the final at Wembley.