Everton star never feared he would return to his best

Date published: Thursday 22nd March 2018 3:38 - Rob McCarthy

Republic of Ireland skipper Seamus Coleman never feared he would not return to his best after suffering a horrific leg injury.

Speaking ahead of Friday night’s friendly in Turkey, the Everton full-back said: “That never crossed my mind, not from day one.

“I knew that if I did everything I was told and did all the work I needed to do in the gym that I’d be back on the football pitch.”

Republic boss Martin O’Neill said he was delighted to see Coleman, who fractured both the bones in his lower leg in a challenge by Wales defender Neil Taylor in March last year, back in the fold.

He said: “Naturally I’m delighted to see him back. I sometimes think he doesn’t know himself how influential he is, not only in the dressing room but obviously on the field of play, that’s the main part.

“It almost goes without saying that we missed him. Had he been fit, I think we may have made it, who knows? He would have given us a much better opportunity.

“I’ve said to him – I’d rather say it when he’s not in the room – he’s an absolutely world-class player.”

Coleman could come up against club-mate Cenk Tosun, a £27million January signing from Besiktas, on Friday evening and he has been impressed by what he has seen so far.

He said: “He’s been very good in the last couple of weeks. His first couple of training sessions, you could see he was a good player who needed match fitness and training fitness.

“He’s finding the back of the net for us, which is important because he was going through a difficult spell. He’s a very good player and a very good friend of mine as well.”

 

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