Saturday 16 December 2017

Coleman fine after 'stop-start' spell

Everton’s Séamus Coleman
Everton’s Séamus Coleman

Séamus Coleman has delivered some good news to Martin O'Neill by pledging that he's back to his best after a recent bout of injury and illness.

Coleman was forced to skip a League Cup tie with Norwich City but returned to the starting XI and played 90 minutes in Sunday's win over Sunderland.

"I had a bit of a tough week but the manager looked after me and didn't play me on the Tuesday night against Norwich. Slowly but surely I got back to feeling myself and I'm just glad to be back on the pitch," Coleman said.

"I have had a few stops and starts so far this season but you get that every now and again. It's all part of being a footballer but I am looking forward to kicking on now and looking forward to the next game."

As the Irish squad prepare to assemble in Dublin next weekend ahead of the first leg of that battle with Bosnia on Friday week, O'Neill has a number of worries in defence and the sight of Coleman back in action is good news.

John O'Shea is definitely out of the away leg through suspension but could miss the home leg due to injury, while Stephen Ward and Marc Wilson, both in contention to start, have played little club football and Ciaran Clark had a tough night on his return to action with Aston Villa on Monday's defeat to Spurs.

The goalkeeping position is also a concern, with Shay Given already out and Rob Elliot an injury doubt, though Keiren Westwood started for Sheffield Wednesday against Brighton last night, while Richard Keogh, Cyrus Christie and Jeff Hendrick all started for Derby at home to QPR.

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