McGeady out to pile on pain for Russians

McGeady out to pile on pain for Russians

Aiden McGeady will have no qualms about making himself a villain in his new home as he attempts to fire the Republic of Ireland into the finals of Euro 2012.

The 24-year-old midfielder made a £9.5m switch to Spartak Moscow from Celtic during the summer, but will hope to start for his country against Russia in Dublin on Friday evening with three precious points at stake.

McGeady is settling in well to life in Eastern Europe, but asked what the reaction might be if he scored the goal which condemned the Russians to a second successive Group B defeat, he said: "I'll worry about that at the time."

Ireland got their campaign off to the perfect start with victories in Armenia and at home to Andorra last month, although they are well aware the degree of difficulty will increase significantly over the next week or so.

After the game at the Aviva Stadium, they head to Zilina to face the Slovakia side which upset Russia in Moscow last month in the group's first surprise result.

Dick Advocaat's men will arrive in Dublin determined to redress the balance, and McGeady and his team-mates know they are in for a battle.

However, while they accept a draw would be a good result against the team who had been group favourites before the start of qualifying, they will be going all out for victory.

McGeady said: "You would need to be satisfied with a draw, but, of course, you want to win.

"Russia are a massive team, a massive country with a lot of top, top players, and a draw would be acceptable.

"But we want to win because if we win, it puts us really in the driving seat in the group and out chances of qualifying are greatly increased."

Defeat in Ireland would seriously dent Russia's qualification hopes, and Advocaat's men will know after his first few weeks in their country McGeady could well be a major threat.

He turned in arguably his best performance under Giovanni Trapattoni against Andorra to win the Italian's praise, and is now determined to repeat the feat against more illustrious opposition.

The switch to Russia has pitched him into a different kind of football, but he is relishing the chance to make a reputation for himself all over again.

McGeady said: "In the Scottish Premier League, I was always pretty much doubled-up on, and sometimes even more than that because I think a lot of teams knew the threat I had.

"Managers would drum it into them to double up on me whenever I got the ball, which after a while was quite frustrating.

"But I am an unknown in Russia at the moment and I am enjoying it. It's on the continent and it's a different style of football which I am trying to get used to as well.

"But generally, the ball is played on the deck a lot more and I think I am adjusting to that and it is going to help me improve my game because I am playing with a lot of players who are technically very gifted as well."

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