Coleman happy to take up defensive role08/10/2012 - 22:37:19
Seamus Coleman is ready to curb his attacking instinct if he is thrown in at the deep end for the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup showdown with Germany.
The 23-year-old Everton player is one of the men in contention to be handed a start in Friday night’s qualifier at the Aviva Stadium in the midst of an injury crisis which is forcing manager Giovanni Trapattoni to asses his options.
Injuries to Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger mean John O’Shea is likely to move from right-back into central defence, and that would leave a vacancy.
Coleman is currently playing at right-back for his club having lined up as a wide midfielder earlier in his career, and he sees his long-term future lying in defence.
He faces stiff competition from Fulham’s Stephen Kelly and Hull’s Paul McShane with Trapattoni looking for solidity rather than another attacking outlet, but the youngster insists he can adapt.
Asked if he can adapt his game, Coleman said: “If required. I will be ready for selection and ready to give my all if picked.
“Obviously, it might be a game for defending first and then attack. That is a big part of my game, attacking, but in games like this, you have to take a step back and see how the game goes.
“It just depends how the game is going. Even in club football, you can’t just run forward whenever you feel like it, it depends how the game is going.
“Especially here with Ireland, it’s a bit different for the full-backs. It’s just something you have got to adapt to because every manager is different.
“If you want to play in the team, you have got to adapt and do what you’re told.”
Coleman has been a regular in the Everton side which has started the Barclays Premier League campaign so well, and is relishing the regular football David Moyes has given him after having to remain patient at times.
However, there is little chance of the Donegal-born defender resting on his laurels.
He said: “Every footballer wants to be in the team and no-one is happy when they are not in the team.
“But I am not a typical footballer, you will never hear me in the press giving out about not playing if I’m not playing.
“The manager has a reason for it and I will just work hard on the training ground every day of every week and try to get back in.
“Thankfully at the minute, that’s paid off and I am in the team at the minute.”
That pragmatism also extends his international career, with Coleman knowing only too well he is not the only man under consideration for a rare start at right-back.
He said: “It leaves a gap all right and I have been playing there for my club recently, which is a bonus.
“But there are a couple of other lads in the squad too whose eyes will be lighting up as well. You have got Stephen Kelly, who is playing at Fulham, and Paul McShane as well.
“It’s not a shoo-in for anyone, but hopefully this week we will all get our heads down and try to impress the manager and then it’s up to him on Friday.”
Coleman is yet to play a competitive senior international – his three Carling Nations Cup appearances are as close as he has come – for his country, and if he does get the nod he admits it will represent a major landmark in his career.
He said: “I have been in and around the squad now for two years and I haven’t had a competitive match as such, it’s just been friendlies, so if I did get on the pitch, it would definitely be my best moment in an Irish shirt.”
Coleman was a 13-year-old schoolboy the day that Robbie Keane famously snatched a draw with Germany at the 2002 World Cup finals, and he would happily settle for a repeat this time around.
Asked if he remembered it, he said: “I do. I was watching it with all my friends. It was brilliant – and it would be nice to see him pop up with one again on Friday.”
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