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Simon Grayson Defends Aiden McGeady As Reason For Hostile Reception Emerges

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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When Aiden McGeady buried his chance to level the scores against Preston North End - the club where he performed so well last season - in the second half on Saturday afternoon, few would have expected what happened next.

After he had been jeered and booed by sections of the crowd all throughout the came, McGeady sprinted nearly the length of the pitch to let the home fans know there would be no muted celebration against his former club, and that he was delighted to score against them.

It was quite a sight, especially considering that McGeady's departure from Deepdale to join manager Simon Grayson at Sunderland had not been particularly hostile, but there was clearly bad blood there.

Speaking after the game [via ChronicleLive.co.uk], Grayson was speaking to the media when he defended McGeady's decision to celebrate as he did, as he thought the criticism was unfair.

You’re allowed to run around and celebrate on any part of the pitch how you want.

He looked like Emmanuel Adebayor when he was playing for Man City and scored against his old club Arsenal.

Why shouldn’t he celebrate, because he was taunted a little bit – unfairly, I thought, because he was exceptional here last year.

He didn’t have the choice to come to Preston, so it was never a decision for him to make.

It must be great for McGeady to have a manager like Grayson who clearly has total faith in him, but it seems as though the Sunderland boss is missing an important part of the story if he thinks this is just regarding his departure from the club.


Many Preston fans were very upset with an interview the Ireland international gave on Friday, when speaking to Sunderland's official site.


McGeady said that he wouldn't take one member of the Preston squad to play at Sunderland, which is why he was booed by the fans from early in the game.

Those are just stats, stats don't mean anything on the day, just like us having a better team than them, it doesn't matter.

It's about who turns up on the day, you say Preston have got a good team, I know most of the players there, I would have our team over theirs any day on paper, but their manager has obviously got them playing well and thinking the same way, and we have to kind of get to that as well.

It's hardly the most spiteful thing to say, but it doesn't take much to upset a football fan looking for a reason to be upset.

Also, some Preston fans believe that McGeady ignoring the applause from the home fans during the warmups did not go down well and was a reason for the hostile reaction.

Grayson was seemingly unware of these reasons when defending his player, but if he had been informed, would he change his view?


It's not likely, as McGeady almost certainly meant to cause no offense with what he said, and likely wasn't paying attention to the crowd during the warm up, so his goal celebration was a natural reaction to taking stick you don't feel you deserve.


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