Sports Digest McGeady Back in Celtic Good Book

Aiden McGeady marked his return to the Celtic side with the Scottish Cup winner against Dundee on Saturday just hours after dropping his appeal against a recent fine and suspension following a row with manager Gordon Strachan. McGeady's first game in a month ended with a late winner on his comeback, with Strachan suitably impressed by the Irish youngster's form. Strachan said, "Aiden did well. I think he is the same hungry player, I don't think he has changed. "We asked him to play wide and when he stayed out there I thought his performance was better although I thought we could have given him more of the ball. "Maybe his goal scoring has dipped in comparison to last season, but so has the team's." McGeady announced before the Cup game that will not appeal Strachan's decision to ban him for two weeks and fine him two weeks' wages following a dressingroom dispute with the manager last month. A statement released via the Scottish Players' Football Association read, "It is Aiden's wish that this brings this matter to a conclusion and his desire is to get back playing for Celtic. "He has used this time in the proper way which has allowed him to take due consideration to all the facts and circumstances regarding the matter. "After lengthy discussions with his family and advisors Aiden has decided not to appeal the penalties imposed upon him by Celtic F.C." While McGeady was the Cup hero, the Polish goalie Artur Boruc was again the villain for Celtic after gifting Dundee's Colin McMenamin a 14th minute opener in the 2-1 fourth round win. Scott Brown, on 37 minutes, and McGeady spared Boruc's blushes and Strachan admitted, "It's up to us to find the best way to get Artur back to his best form. "You analyze every game on the Monday and talk about to see where we could have done better. We will sit him down with the coaching staff and say, 'What is the best for you.' "Every player has been left out. You cannot say he is never going to be left out. That's not today, it's next week, next month or next year. But he can be left out." Celtic will now meet Peterhead or Queens Park in the next round of the Scottish Cup. Unsettled Italian midfielder Massimo Donati looks certain to remain at Celtic after former club Atalanta ruled out any transfer window move for the 27-year-old. Coventry's Iceland midfielder Aron Gunnarsson has claimed Celtic are interested in signing him, while Strachan has been told to forget about a January move for Bosnia-Herzegovina midfielder Semir Stilic by his Lech Poznan employers, who expect to make more money from any deal in the summer. McDonnell Quits Johnny McDonnell has sensationally quit as manager of St. Patrick's Athletic and vowed to remain full time in football - even if that means a move to America. The former Saints defender agreed to step down after consulting the club's CEO Richard Sadlier about plans to go part-time next season. McDonnell told RTE Radio, "Over the last while the club has been looking to go back to part-time. I've been working as a full-time manager and assistant since 2001 when I was at Shels and I didn't want to go into a part-time situation. "That would have been something I'd done at the start of my career, and I just want to stay in a full-time position. "I've put a long of time into the pro license in recent years, and I think if I stayed I would have lost ground on that. "Going back to training two nights a week, I think I would definitely be taking a step backwards. "I've a couple of options, maybe not here, maybe away. I've been in America over the last while so I've a couple of avenues that I could look at there." Trap's Door Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has again left the door open for a Stephen Ireland return after more newspaper reports suggesting the Manchester City schemer will return against Georgia next month. Reacting to a story in the Irish Daily Star, the Italian said, "We haven't heard from Stephen Ireland but if he does want to declare himself available for his country all he has to do is let us know himself through channels he is aware of." Soccer Shorts Newspaper reports in England have claimed that Daryl Murphy and Liam Miller will be allowed to leave Sunderland during the January transfer window. Anthony Stokes may be allowed to continue his loan at Sheffield United, while new boss Ricky Sbragia wants to recall Paul McShane from his loan deal at Hull City . . . First Division side Sporting Fingal has landed Gary O'Neill from St. Patrick's Athletic and Eamon Zayed from Drogheda United ahead of the new League of Ireland season. Shaun Williams, Shane McFaul, Ross Gaynor and Irish under-21 goalkeeper Darren Quigley have also joined Liam Buckley's team . . . Waterford's new boss Stephen Henderson could raid old club Cobh Ramblers for defender Kevin Murray. Henderson has already signed former Cobh Ramblers duo Graham Cummins and John Kearney . . . Manchester City have again been linked with Ireland and Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given, but defender and captain Richard Dunne could be allowed to leave the club with Spurs keen to sign him . . . Drogheda United's first team squad has agreed a deal that will see them receive less than one third of the *300,000 owed to them in wages by the struggling League of Ireland side . . . Veteran boss Pete Mahon has left relegated UCD by mutual consent after a meeting with the club's directors on Monday. Martin Russell has been appointed caretaker manager . . . COBH Ramblers members have voted to sell the club's St. Colman's Park grounds to the FAI to clear their *500,000 debt, but there is no guarantee the FAI will agree to the deal . . . Sunderaland striker Roy O'Donovan ended his loan deal with Scottish Premier League side Dundee United to move to Blackpool on a similar deal until the end of the season . . . Dundalk manager Sean Connor has been reunited with his old Bohs and Sligo players Darren Mansaram and Harpal Singh and signed defender Shaun Kelly from Hearts . . . Carlisle United have signed Graham Kavanagh on a permanent move from Sunderland and extended their loan deal for Irish under-21 defender Michael Liddle . . . Former Shamrock Rovers and Kilkenny City midfielder Alan Delahunty has agreed a one-year deal with American pro Indoor side Richmond Kickers . . . Former manager Dave Hill is a candidate for his old job as boss at Cobh Ramblers. Stephen Neiland, Dave Rogers and Alan O'Sullivan are also in the running . . . Reading are interested in Coventry's Irish winger Jay Tabb, fuelling speculation that Stephen Hunt will leave the club before the transfer window closes . . . Donegal-born striker Kevin McHugh has moved from Derry City to Linfield. Derry have signed Liam Kearney from Cork City as they rebuild . . . The FAI have joined the IRFU in discounting any need to rent Croke Park after the new Lansdowne Road Stadium opens in 2010 . . . Monaghan United have appointed former Manchester United trainee Pat McGibbon as their new assistant manager . . . Reading's former Cork City defender Alan Bennett has extended his loan stay at Brentford until the end of January . . . New Longford Town boss Alan Gough has signed Jason McCartney and Colm Jinks from local rivals Athlone Town . . . RTE Sport has reported that Drogheda United manager Paul Doolin is to replace Alan Matthews at Cork City . . . Drogheda defender Graham Gartland has completed a moved to Scottish First Division side St. Johnstone . . . Wolves and Fulham have been linked with Watford's Irish midfielder John Joe O'Toole . . . Hull City hope to wrap up a cut price deal with Wigan for Irish midfielder Kevin Kilbane . . . Trevor Croly is the new assistant manager to Michael O'Neill at Shamrock Rovers . . . Dundalk's David Cassidy has moved to First Division Shelbourne.

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