We do plenty for each other, SAFC and Salut! Sunderland, so no one will mind if we simply record the EFL League One Player/Manager of the Month awards – both going our way – by reference to the official club site. Jack Ross said the award to Aiden McGeady was a ‘no brainer’ and few who have seen his compelling technique in recent weeks would disagree; Ross himself deserves immense credit for moulding a viable League One squad that is just a whisper away from an automatic promotion place and – sorry to remind our churlish dissenter, ‘Brian’ – has reached a Wembley final for which every ticket will be sold.
Aiden McGeady has scored four goals in six games and, as the club site puts it, “continues to treat League One to his skills”.
Most impressive is his consistency, spreading the goals over five games, with the highlight a sumptuous free-kick at Bristol Rovers.
Sunderland manager Jack Ross said: ‘Aiden has been outstanding consistently for a long period of time now and this is the reward of that.
‘Players recognise him as a match winner and there’s nothing wrong with that. I have got a lot of players who have different attributes, and all contribute to us winning, but Aiden has got that x-factor to make us win games.
“There’s few players who are blessed with that ability and obviously working with him day in day out, I’ve understood just how good he is. He is an immensely talented footballer, but you have got to have the attitude, desire and application to back that up and he’s certainly done that this season.’
McGeady said: ‘It’s good that your efforts are recognised … the main thing is the team has been playing well, though.
‘Personal awards are always nice to have but the team has been doing well and the main objective isn’t that one of us ends up with the Player of the Month or Player of the Season award because we want to get the team promoted.’
Don Goodman, a past Sunderland hero, now Sky Sports EFL pundit, said: “He’s clearly a class act at this level and his all round play, as well as goals and assists set him apart in League One last month.”
And then there’s Jack Ross:
‘Ross managed his squad superbly during a hectic February run of five games in 15 days.
Along with the earlier win over AFC Wimbledon, the 12 points they earned from six unbeaten fixtures lifted them back into the automatic promotion picture.’
Ross said: ‘It’s a surprise to receive it because of the record of some of the other people in this league. While it is me who picks it up, it is very much a reflection of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes and the staff that are involved in that.’
Don Goodman said: ‘A mouth-watering tie against Barnsley next Tuesday could go some way into deciding the fate of Ross’s debut season in the EFL, but Sunderland will go into it full of confidence after a superb February.’
Ha’way these and all our other Lads.