Baines: Seamus A Real Threat
Leighton buoyed by Irishman's impressive displays at full-back.
Leighton Baines says Seamus Coleman’s coming of age as a right-back has provided Everton with a welcome new weapon in attack.
Coleman, 23, has started each of the Blues’ last three games in the position, impressing with a forward-thinking approach reminiscent of Baines’ own.
Since moving to Goodison Park from Saturday’s opponents Wigan in 2007, Baines has forged a reputation as one of the most dangerous attacking left-backs in the game.
Now he believes Coleman is demonstrating all the necessary tools to become an equal nuisance on the opposite flank.
Speaking exclusively to evertontv, Baines said: “It's part of the game now, isn't it? Full-backs are expected to attack a bit more and are expected to provide assists or even goals.
"That's what Seamus is all about as well. He's a really good full-back.
“He's been doing a job in the midfield role, which he's very good at as well, but I think naturally he probably feels his home is at full back and we've seen that in the last few games. He's done really well.”
Despite cutting his teeth as a right-back during his fledging days as a player at Sligo Rovers, the majority of Coleman’s 77 first-team appearances at Everton have come as an auxiliary winger.
With that deployment having honed his attacking instincts, Baines believes the Blues will reap the benefits long term.
"It definitely helps because if you're more one-sided it's easy for teams to combat and they can set up to nullify that,” he added before hinting at a blossoming right-wing partnership to rival his own lauded link-up with Steven Pienaar. "Obviously we've got some good strength down the right-hand side at the moment and Seamus is getting forward and Kevin [Mirallas] is doing really well. That only helps us as a team."
As for Saturday’s trip to the DW Stadium, Baines has vowed not to let a sense of familiarity lessen his desire for victory.
The defender admits to retaining a level of affection for his former employers but insists his only thoughts are on sending Everton into the forthcoming international break with a third straight league win.
“Wigan is always a club that I'll have an affiliation with,” he said. “I've got all my family going to the game because they still feel the same way; my brother still goes and watches them when Everton are away and my two little boys are going to go to the game with my mum and dad. It's a bit of a family day out.
“But it's the last game before the international break and it's always one you want to win so you can go away on a bit of a high.
“The last time before the break we got beat by West Brom and we were disappointing so we don't want to go away with that feeling again. We want to keep this little run going and it sets us up nicely if we do get another win.”