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Saturday 10 December 2016

Coleman: Scots will mean more

WITH five Everton players on the field, yesterday's 0-0 draw with England was more like a training session for Seamus Coleman than a full-blooded international, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

But the chance to go up against fellow Toffees Phil Jagielka and Ross Barkley was a side issue for Coleman as a clean sheet for his Irish defence was the main plus of the day.

"We kept a clean sheet anyway and first and foremost, as a defender, that's your job," said Coleman (pictured).

"I'm happy with the clean sheet and I thought a few of the lads got a couple of chances, we weren't defending for the full game. We could have won. We put them under a good bit of pressure in the first half, but it wasn't to be."

The friendly game had the mood of a testimonial at times but that will be absent when Ireland are next in action, at home to Scotland on Saturday in a vital Euro 2016 qualifier.

"Look, every time you play for your country there is pressure. You're representing your team-mates and your family," said Coleman.

"But the Scotland game maybe means a bit more than maybe other international matches because it's so important to the group and how we fare. So we're going out there to win.

"We've had a good campaign here, meeting up the last couple of weeks, so we've enjoyed it and everyone gave it their all today.

"We stuck together, which is a good sign, so we have a good week to look forward to now. Yesterday England had a team full of top players but I thought we defended well throughout.

"We got a good work-out there, a lot of lads got a good few minutes under their belt and we've got a good week of preparation to look forward to now, which is the main reason we're here this week, for the Scotland game."

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