Fast forward to last Saturday when McGeady returned to Deepdale for the first time. There was no welcome for the returning hero.
Quite the opposite in fact. A hostile reception was perhaps influenced by an interview McGeady gave to the Sunderland website on Friday when he poured scorn over the ability of the Preston players in comparison to Sunderland’s.
“I know most of the players there, I would have our team over theirs any day on paper,” he said.
If that was the spark for the ill-feeling, McGeady would also have the last word, making it 2-2 with a curling effort before running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Preston fans.
Sunderland manager Simon Grayson felt McGeady’s actions were justified in view of the abuse he had received before he rescued a point for the Black Cats.
“You’re allowed to run around and celebrate on any part of the pitch how you want,” Grayson said.
“He looked like Emmanuel Adebayor when he was playing for Man City and scored against his old club Arsenal. Why shouldn’t he celebrate? He was unfairly taunted because he was exceptional last year.”
Elsewhere, David Meyler was quick off the mark, creating a goal and scoring from the penalty spot in the opening 11 minutes as Hull hammered Birmingham City 6-1.
It was a bad day for Mick McCarthy as Ipswich lost 3-1 at home to Bristol City. David McGoldrick picked up a hamstring injury and is now a doubt for Ireland’s crunch World Cup qualifier double-header against Moldova and Wales.
“He’s tweaked his hamstring,” McCarthy said. “Ireland will probably want to assess him and it will be a blow for him if he’s not available. But he needs to be fit to play.” It was a far happier day for Adam Rooney as his hat-trick gave Aberdeen a 3-0 win over St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership.
Returning to England, Eoin Doyle scored twice as Oldham won 2-1 at Portsmouth in League One, Simon Cox netted in Southend’s 2-1 win over Blackpool while Rory Gaffney struck as Bristol Rovers beat Plymouth by the same scoreline.