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Monday 20 August 2018

Coleman: I'll wait my turn

Defender's focus is on Everton as he bides his time for call from Trap MORE THAN a few eyebrows were raised around the country last week when the 26-man Ireland squad for next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers was named and there was no place for Everton defender Seamus Coleman -- despite a series of impressive displays from the Donegal man this season.

But there were no complaints, no campaigns and no sulks from Coleman this week as the former Sligo Rovers man says he has no quibbles over his omission from the squad as he insists he's confident he will win an Ireland cap once he's proved himself at club level.

Coleman has started just two games for the Toffees this season -- only one of them in the league -- and it should also be added that his club are currently bottom of the Premier League.

But with six games under his belt he has still played more than senior squad defenders like Greg Cunningham (Manchester City) and Kevin Kilbane (Hull City) have managed for their teams this season. And many observers felt that the 21-year-old, said by many to be the best thing about Everton in their most recent Premier League game at Fulham, deserved a chance, but the player himself insists he's ready to wait for Giovanni Trapattoni's call.

"People might think I am only saying this, but it didn't bother me that I wasn't in the Irish squad which was picked last week," Coleman told the Evening Herald. "That's not to say that I don't care about playing for my country. Of course I want to play for Ireland and I think it would be the proudest moment of my career to play for Ireland, but I am not going to whine and moan about not playing.



Worried

"I won't start mouthing off about how I should be in the Irish squad. My aim for the moment is to do well for Everton. I am not a regular in the Everton team yet so I need to establish myself with my club first. And the Irish team got off to a good start in the qualifiers so I don't have much to complain about.

"I don't want to be seen as a player who moans. I want to be known as someone who gets his head down and works hard so when the call-up to the international team does come, if it comes, it will be down to my hard work and not a lot of talk in the papers.

"I know there's a friendly against Norway in November and the call might come then but I'm not worrying about that now. If I can play well for Everton then I will get whatever rewards are due to me. I have to take it one step at a time and make my name at Everton first," added the Killybegs-born player.

It's been a strange season so far for Coleman, who spent time last season on loan to Blackpool and helped them win promotion to the Premier League. Early signs -- a new four-year contract from David Moyes and the fact that Coleman wasn't sent out on loan again -- suggested that this could be his season at Goodison Park. But when the Toffees started the new league season, Coleman wasn't even on the bench for opening day action against Blackburn.

He's been involved in every game since then and was even asked to move from defence to midfield for last week's league game away to Fulham, building on an impressive midweek display against Brentford in the Carling Cup where Coleman scored his first Everton goal.

And at the back of it all is that poor run of form from Everton, a point adrift of West Ham at the foot of the table.

"It's a mixed bag at the moment in that things are going ok for me on a personal level but the team are struggling a bit. I have managed to get a decent bit of game time under my belt this season and that's a big plus for me. But as a team we haven't had the best of starts to a season, but it's early days yet and I think we'll come out of that run soon," Coleman admits.

"It's not what you expect from a club like Everton, to be bottom of the table at this stage of the season. But I am honestly not worried. Right now we are thinking short term; that means our next game against Birmingham on Saturday and getting a win there, and hopefully our season will take off from there.

"It was a slow start to the season for myself. I didn't make the squad for the first game of the season but I have been involved in every game since then, and it was great for me to start in the league game last weekend, against Fulham, I really enjoyed that one.

"I have gotten a good reaction from the fans in the last few games. It's nice to hear positive things said about you, but the one person that I want to impress is David Moyes. Hopefully if I can keep up some good form the team can pick up points too and move up the table.

"Everyone knows that the team aren't doing too well now but as a squad we're not downhearted about it, we just want to get out playing in the next game. We did ok against Fulham last week and hopefully we can carry that into the Birmingham match at the weekend."

Things are so bad around Goodison way that even the plight of their city rivals -- Liverpool are just four places above Everton -- brings no relief. Not for Coleman and his team-mates, at least.

"I suppose it's strange that the two teams in the city aren't doing so well, maybe it makes it a bit easier for the Everton fans to see Liverpool struggle a bit too. The banter between the two sets of fans in work is probably going to and fro, but the players don't get caught up in stuff like that," he says. "We're looking at ourselves not at Liverpool, as players we're disappointed with how we've started."

His form was so good against Fulham last weekend -- England legend Jimmy Armfield was singing the praises of the Donegal man afterwards -- that he should be in the side to face Birmingham on Saturday. He just has no idea which position. "I played in midfield against Fulham last weekend and I enjoyed that. I know it's an easy thing for a player to say but I would honestly play anywhere just to get a game," he says. "Football is like that, you can't just be tied down to one position. If you can play football you should be able to play anywhere.

"I liked playing in midfield as I suppose I am what you'd call an attacking full back. I like to get forward and try to make things happen, maybe try and score which I managed to do against Brentford last week. A few people said they had backed me to score first at 33/1 so I'm glad that I won a few quid for some of my friends. I wouldn't say I am a prolific goalscorer, I would have scored a few for my underage team back in Ireland and for my school as well, but once I went to Sligo Rovers the goals dried up a bit," Coleman says.

And he has far from forgotten his former club and was delighted to hear the Bit o'Red clinched their first silverware since 1998 courtesy of their EA Sports Cup triumph.

"I heard that Sligo Rovers won the League Cup last weekend and I was delighted for them, it's great to see them get a trophy," added Coleman. "A lot of the lads I played with at Sligo are still there and it's great to see the likes of Richie Ryan, Gavin Peers, Romo Boco and Danny Ventre get a medal."

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