McGeady Off The Leash

by Rob Urbani

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Aiden McGeady believes Everton fans are starting to see the best of his abilities now that Roberto Martinez has urged him to play with more freedom.

The winger, who joined from Spartak Moscow in January, has revealed how he has been told by his manager to concentrate on doing the things he does best – creating and scoring goals.

McGeady played a bit-part role during his first six months at the Club - 13 of his appearances in 2013/14 came as a substitute.

But since returning for pre-season, the former Celtic man has been a more prominent part of Blues boss Martinez’s plans.

He scored on the opening day at Leicester City and had a hand in both Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith’s goals against Chelsea at the end of last month.

And, on Sunday, he replicated his Everton form for the Republic of Ireland with a match-winning double in the 2-1 Euro 2016 qualifying victory in Georgia.

McGeady’s stunning second goal was the sign of a player high on confidence – and the 28-year-old is optimistic there will be more moments like that for Everton now that Martinez has insisted he takes the shackles off.

“When I am on the pitch I know I have a responsibility to create chances and score goals,” McGeady declared to evertontv on Wednesday after reporting back following the international break.

“Last season I was coming on and getting five, 10, 15 minutes here and there. This season I have felt more settled and part of the team. The more comfortable you become with your surroundings, the more you will play with freedom.

“The manager and coaching staff have been great in saying that to me. They have given me pointers here and there about expressing myself and that’s what I’ve tried to do when I’ve been on the pitch.

“There were times last season when I was probably more concerned about not giving the ball away rather than taking a chance and doing what I was supposed to do.

“They have been very vocal and positive with me about that – they have been saying it doesn’t matter how many times I give the ball away, if I create a chance and we score from it then that’s the main thing.

“It’s about being more expressive and positive with my play.”

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