Coleman Ready For Besic Battle

by Mike Taylor
@Everton

Seamus Coleman is ready to put friendship aside - for a few days at least - as he looks to achieve a childhood dream of reaching a major finals with the Republic of Ireland.

After narrowly missing out on automatic qualification for the Euro 2016 finals, Martin O’Neill’s side face a two-legged play-off with Bosnia & Herzegovina for a place at next summer’s tournament in France.

It means Coleman, along with compatriots James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and Aiden McGeady, could come up against Everton teammate Muhamed Besic.

And the Blues full-back has revealed how the showdown is so momentous it even remains off-limits from dressing room jesting.

“We’re showing a bit of respect - it’s too important even for banter,” he explained. “We’re not really having banter about it. We’ve talked about it. Mo is a great lad and I’ve great time for him, but hopefully he’s a loser on the weekend.

“It was always at the back of your mind. We’ve been talking about it. It’s that big that you can’t really forget about it. Obviously you put your club first for the time being because you’ve got to play games but it’s always there. When you come home in the evening you’re thinking of France. It’s only natural.

“I’d be gutted [retiring without playing in a major tournament]. I don’t want to finish without playing for Ireland at a big tournament. Growing up as a kid, I’m a fan. I’m playing but I’m a fan, and I want my friends to be out there supporting me, my town to be supporting me and it’s something that I want to do.”

Coleman evidently refuses to rest on his laurels and says it's his constant desire to improve that drives him forward to succeed - for both Club and country.

“Since I went to England, I never felt I had made it,” he added. “Even after the 2013/14 season (when he won Everton's Player of the Season award), I never felt I had made it. And still, today, I think if you get too comfortable and you have a bad season you could be out of here.

"I just want to keep improving but never get comfortable.”

Click here for a full lowdown of which Everton players will be representing their nations during the international break.

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