Aiden McGeady says he got some "grief" due to a story which former Sunderland teammate Lewis Morgan told earlier this year.
Morgan spent the latter half of the 2018/19 season on loan at Sunderland from Celtic. The Scottish winger, who now plays for Inter Miami, claimed that after a Sunderland draw against Burton Albion that McGeady told teammates they would never be able to play at level higher than League One.
Speaking on the Open Goal podcast, McGeady had a different version of events. For one, the game was against Accrington Stanley, not Burton Albion.
"The thing is, right, your interviews are supposed to be funny and light-hearted,” said the Ireland international.
"I get that Morgy was trying to tell funny stories, but see the time and the place [was wrong].
"The story he told, I was getting loads of grief because he said I walked in the dressing room and said ‘yous aren’t good enough, yous can’t play at a higher level’.
"I’ve got a journalist ringing me right after that interview went out and he was like ‘Lewis Morgan’s said these comments, what have you got to say?’.
"I was like, ‘look mate, this is what happened’. I walked in the dressing room, we’d just drawn 2-2 against Accrington Stanley. No disrespect, but Sunderland should be beating Accrington Stanley.
"We had a big meeting. Jack Ross gave us an open forum to have a say. Loads and loads of people spoke up and I said ‘lads, I’m 33 now, chances are I won’t play at a higher level again, but I imagine all of you have aspirations to play at a higher level – or you should have. If you can’t handle the fans getting on you out there against Accrington on a Tuesday night, you won’t [play at a higher level]’.
"You’ve got to be able to bottle that up, block that out, and deal with that pressure. That was what I said, but Morgy made it sound like I went ‘Ha ha, you lot won’t play at a higher level’. That’s not what I said.
"If Lee Cattermole or Kevin Ball had said that, it would be amazing. What was I saying that was wrong there? Why wouldn’t I have high standards at a club like Sunderland?
"If you’re accepting a 2-2 draw against Accrington Stanley, Sunderland will be in League One for the foreseeable."