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Tuesday 18 December 2018

Big Sam: 'We will keep an eye on Séamus'

Everton boss wary of Coleman dip after return

Everton full-back Séamus Coleman, pictured on his return to action against Leicester last Wednesday
Everton full-back Séamus Coleman, pictured on his return to action against Leicester last Wednesday
Sam Allardyce

Beaming Everton manager Sam Allardyce described Ireland captain Séamus Coleman as an inspiration to young players after he battled his way back to fitness from a broken leg.

But the Toffees boss admits that he may have to handle Coleman carefully in the weeks ahead, predicting that the Donegal man may have to cope with a slump once the "euphoria" of his comeback has worn off.

Coleman (29) played the full game for Everton in Wednesday's win over Leicester and he is hoping to feature again today in the Premier League, against Arsenal.

"He's a great example for the younger players at Everton. If you can sprint 80 yards in the 92nd minute and run past players who are playing every week, that shows his strength. He's also mentally strong. He's an inspiration," Allardyce said of Coleman.

"Your first run, for Seamus the first tackle… psychologically they need to get over a lot of barriers. We don't know that Séamus won't dip off slightly in three or four games.

"The euphoria can spur you on but we need to find out how he'll get on in the next few games. The staff have to monitor that.

"We just have to make sure we can keep him fit and in the team every week. We've got to have an assessment on where we lie on playing him again. He's going to say he's fine but we're going to take everything into consideration," added the manager, who admits that Coleman's Ireland team-mate James McCarthy is feeling down over his injury.

"He's miserable, as I would be," added Allardyce. "We can't let any infection get in there. When it heals it'll be about starting his rehab. At the moment we're just doing movements and keeping the ankle moving when he can, doing the small things he can at this early stage to aid his recovery."

While Coleman's return to fitness has been widely welcomed, the player who stood in for Coleman with Ireland, Cyrus Christie, has been criticised for the manner of his exit this week from Middlesbrough - he joined Fulham after just six months on Teesside.

"They either want to play for Middlesbrough or they don't," manager Tony Pulis said.

"There's no middle line - you're either with it or not. If they want to move and the opportunity is there - if it's a good deal for the football club, then fine. You want people to come here and grow, and people who are here for the right reasons.

"If they come in, and after three or four months, and see it right and fit and want to leave, I find it astonishing, but I just want people who want to be at the football club."

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