Seamus Coleman believes he is reaping the benefits of playing regular first team football in his preferred position.
The Republic of Ireland international was recognised for his current rich vein of form when he scooped the Club’s March player of the month accolade on Thursday afternoon.
After a couple of minor injury setbacks, Coleman has been a mainstay for the Blues since the middle of February, and has now racked up 26 appearances in all competitions this season.
“I’ve felt good all season,” Coleman told evertontv. “I’ve had a few niggling injuries - nothing serious - but the last couple of months since I have been back I felt good and very fit.
“I’ve been doing a bit of yoga and stuff like that [to help stay fit]. Long may it continue and hopefully I can play every game now until the end of the season.”
Coleman continued: “I’ve grown into the role more as the season has gone on. At the start of the season it was my first go [at right-back] since my Blackpool loan spell. Early doors, maybe there was a mistake or two but I feel as though I have got more confident as the games have gone on.
“The manager put me in right midfield for a couple of seasons but I’ve always seen myself as a full-back and I think he did too. Luckily for me and unfortunately for Tony [Hibbert], he was injured and it meant that I got my chance. I’ve really enjoyed it.”
After four shut-outs in the last five games, Coleman will be keen to keep another clean sheet at the Stadium of Light this Saturday.
Impressively, the Blues are unbeaten in their last 18 matches against the Black Cats, dating back to the pre-David Moyes era.
Twenty-four-year-old Coleman says silencing Sunderland both on-and-off the pitch will be crucial if the Toffees are to take that formidable record into another season.
“The game against Arsenal was a positive result and if we can go into the game against Sunderland looking for all three points it will be a good week,” added the Irishman.
“Martin O’Neill is obviously a great manager but they saw fit to change it. Paolo Di Canio has come in and you can see what kind of character he is. He is on the touchline for the 90 minutes and he is celebrating goals like he scored them.
“It’s going to be a tough atmosphere on Saturday and he will have them right up for it. But we know what we are in for and if we can get an early goal and silence them that will be positive.
“With five games to go we are still in with a shout of finishing where we want to finish and we would have taken that at the start of the year.”