Leon Osman grabbed the headlines on his 400th appearance for the Toffees at the weekend – but Seamus Coleman also reserved special praise for another Goodison veteran after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over West Ham United.
Tony Hibbert covered for the injured Leighton Baines and didn’t put a foot wrong all game, despite playing in an unfamiliar left-back role.
The defender pipped Osman to the man of the match gong and Coleman says the performances of both Academy graduates emphasised why the pair are respected so highly in the first-team dressing room.
Coleman told evertontv: “Everyone is delighted for him [Osman]. It’s been a good couple of months with his testimonial and his contract, then the goal today. He is what Everton is about.
“Tony Hibbert was fantastic as well. He stepped in at left-back and once again he didn’t let Everton down. They are two good Evertonians.
“I can’t say enough about Tony. We are in the same position but he has been brilliant with me since I stepped into the Club. He’s there for advice and someone I look up to massively in the way he goes about his work. All the fans here really appreciate him.”
The Blues had to roll up their sleeves to overcome the Hammers, with Roberto Martinez later describing the victory as the most satisfying of the season.
Coleman echoed his manager’s comments and revealed that there was an extra special feeling amongst the players after the dust had settled on the game.
“It probably felt a bit more than three points,” added the Republic of Ireland man. “There are different atmospheres in changing rooms after wins but that felt a bit more upbeat because they are a tough team to play against.
“Going one up and then they pegged us back, we were begging the second goal to go in and thankfully it did. It was a good 2-1 win.
“It was brilliant for the lads and everyone stuck in. The fans were getting a bit anxious at times but you get that. They stuck behind us and thankfully Sammy [Eto’o] with a bit of quality and Leon Osman on his 400th appearance topped it off.”