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Saturday 10 December 2016

Seamus Coleman: Everton's pre-season form can drive us into a successful season

Seamus Coleman in action last season
Seamus Coleman in action last season

SEAMUS Coleman believes that Everton's good form in pre-season is helping to build confidence ahead of the bigger tests to come in the new Premier League season

So far this summer the Toffees have played friendlies against opposition from League One (Swindon), the Premier League (Stoke, Arsenal), the SPL (Hearts, Dundee) with four wins and a draw, the latest win coming last night away to Dundee.

The opening game of the Premier League campaign, away to new boys Watford, is the key date for Coleman but the Donegal native is enthused by that pre-season form.

"A run of wins breeds confidence. Pre-season is all about getting your fitness up but you want to win games too. It builds confidence and if we can get a couple of wins now before the Watford game then it's definitely a positive, as we get close to where it all counts - Watford at the start of the season," he added, pleased with the work-rate so far in a pre-season schedule which saw Everton beat Arsenal (3-1) and draw with Stoke (0-0) in a tournament in Singapore.

"It has been tough," he said. "All the hard running is out of the way but we are working more on getting sharper.

"I thought we did ok in the game against Hearts on Sunday. Our passing was a lot better compared to the first couple of games we had in pre-season.

"It is useful to be playing sides similar to what we will face, we have Leeds at the weekend. All the lads are trying to impress as much as they can in the games and in training.

"So we are getting there but I am sure there will be another couple of tough sessions along the way. The season is getting very close now and we are looking forward to it."

Coleman's form for Everton in pre-season has been encouraging - he set up one of the goals for Romelu Lukaku in last week's win over Hearts - and James McCarthy has also featured prominently, but it will be of some concern to the Ireland camp that Darron Gibson and Aiden McGeady have yet to play a role as they are still struggling with injuries carried over from last season.

Coleman and McCarthy started against Dundee last night but compatriots Gibson and McGeady weren't even in the match-day squad

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