Irish international McGeady has hit a rich vein of form recently and it couldn't have come at a better time as Celtic step up their quest for their fourth SPL title in succession. The midfielder's reaction to criticism from his manager following the game against Hearts last December led to his suspension from the first team. He returned to a place on the substitutes bench before reclaiming his first team berth and it's fair to say that manager Strachan is thoroughly delighted with McGeady's attitude since he returned to the fold.
Tomorrow it's another game against Hearts and although boss Strachan knows that McGeady is in a rich vein of form, and knows just what he is capable of, he also knows that the fans sometimes raise their expectations to unreasonable levels. "Aiden has done it before, playing as well as this." said the Celtic manager. "But you have to remember that, when people reach these heights, if they dip below it that is only natural. You can't play the way he does consistently. It's just impossible.
"Look at Cristiano Ronaldo." he continued. "They are saying he is not as good as he was last year. Well, his ratio of goals to games is phenomenal. He does things no- one else does. But, with players like that, that's what happens. People are always expecting that level of performance every time.
"Aiden is producing for us, and we all like to see that. But you can't ask any player to be a genius every game." he added. "He is also working hard for the team, getting back to help when it is required, and that is also appreciated."
McGeady has struck the back of the net three times in the past four games and the manager is pleased that there are goals coming from every area of the side. "I like to see a goal threat from as many areas of the team as possible, and we encourage this," said Strachan. "Aiden scored a good goal against Falkirk, Jan got another one which will help him, and Gary Caldwell and Darren O'Dea also scored, which we enjoyed. We have always said we can't just leave it to the strikers and there is a hunger from others to do their bit."
So it's on to Tynecastle tomorrow and one of the most important games in the title run-in. The boss will be hoping that his side can negate the hostile, sometimes poisonous, atmosphere that the Hearts crowd reserve for games against the Celts as quickly as they did on their last visit to Gorgie. "The atmosphere at Tynecastle is terrific." said Strachan. " It's like the old Baseball Ground years ago when you had to go there to play Derby County. But we have handled it before, and the 2-0 win on our last visit was as good a performance as we have had there in my time in charge of the club. We can think about a lot of the things we did right that day, our start, our tactics, and we can try to repeat that."