Robbie Brady is backing Republic of Ireland team-mate Aiden McGeady to silence his critics in Scotland by turning on the style in Saturday’s Euro 2016 qualifier.
The Paisley-born winger was a target for Scottish fans who have never forgiven him for opting to play for Ireland rather than his native country during the reverse fixture at in Glasgow in November, a game which ended in a 1-0 defeat for Martin O’Neill’s men.
However, the 29-year-old former Celtic midfielder, who has always insisted Ireland was the only country he was going to represent, will have the support of the bulk of a bumper crowd at the Aviva Stadium this weekend and Brady is confident he can make a telling contribution to a vital Group D game.
Asked if McGeady has a point to prove to the Scots, the Hull man said: “I’m not sure. Maybe he does himself personally think that, but he has been excellent. I thought he played very well on Sunday (against England) and he is raring to go.
“Hopefully if he is asked to play, he puts in a good performance and with his ability if he turns it on, we will be in good stead.”
Brady is well placed to assess McGeady’s form after an injury-interrupted season at Everton having lined up behind him in the 0-0 draw with Roy Hodgson’s men in Dublin.
A winger by trade, he has been asked to line up at left-back by manager Martin O’Neill in recent games, and the cover provided for him by the likes of McGeady has proved invaluable.
He said: “It’s definitely important. At this level when you are playing, you are going to be playing against top players and you are going to find yourself at times where you need to get that right and it can be only a split-second before someone can open you up.
“I thought we worked it well on Sunday and hopefully we can do the same. Depending on who is playing on either side, hopefully we can get it right and put in a good shift at the weekend.”
Brady effectively marked England winger Raheem Sterling out of the game on Sunday, but freely admits he is still on a steep learning curve as he attempts to get to grips with the role.
He is attack-minded by nature, but while his defensive duties are currently a greater priority, he insists he will not pass up the opportunity to get forward if it presents itself.
He said: “It depends. There are different times in the game when you are able to get forward, and different times when you have to put the reins on a little bit. It’s just getting that balance right.
“But if I do get an opportunity to go forward at the weekend, I’ll be attacking it with everything I have.”