Friday, February 13, 2009
McGeady determined to build on strong Irish start
Ireland winger Aiden McGeady is determined not to let the chance of a trip to the World Cup finals slip from his grasp.
The 22-year-old Celtic winger turned in an excellent individual display as Giovanni Trapattoni's side drew level on points with Group Eight leaders Italy with a 2-1 win over Georgia at Croke Park on Wednesday evening.
Ireland had to come from behind to secure a third win in four qualifiers as they took their tally to 10 points, but for McGeady, the victory rather than the performance was what mattered most.
He said: "The result was the most important thing. Not to win would have undone all the good work in the first three games of the campaign.
"Now we are on 10 points, level with Italy, and we have given ourselves a great platform to go on and qualify.
"There is still a lot of football to be played. There's always room for improvement, but we are playing some good football as well."
Giovanni Trapattoni has told Aiden McGeady he is expecting even more from him as Ireland's World Cup qualifying campaign gathers pace.
Trapattoni was delighted with his contribution to a priceless win, although he is confident there is even more to come from the midfielder.
He said: 'McGeady was very, very important, but he can improve again. With more confidence, he has the impossibilty to improve.
'He has two very good legs. After the first half, I said to him, 'Believe in yourself, believe in yourself, believe in yourself'.
'He became more and more confident and he has the possibility to grow.'
If McGeady's performance, coupled with skipper Robbie Keane's lethal finishing, won the day for Ireland, Trapattoni was particularly pleased with the way his players stuck to the blueprint he has drawn up for lasting success.
His desire to play two combative players in the middle of the park has proved detrimental to Andy Reid's international career, but it has made Glenn Whelan a key member of the team.