Seamus Coleman admits Everton’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United came as a “massive relief” and says continuing to perform with such spirit and determination will be vital to the Club securing its Premier League status.
The Everton skipper also hailed “immense” returning midfielder Fabian Delph in the win over United and explained how match-winner Anthony Gordon is getting his just rewards for his exemplary attitude and application.
Everton dug deep to emerge victorious on Saturday lunchtime, less than 72 hours after suffering a gut-wrenching late defeat at Burnley.
The visitors, meanwhile, had six full days to prepare for the game – but Frank Lampard’s side matched them stride for stride, with the Blues’ collective effort highlighted by the fact they made 44 more sprints than their opponents during the match (142-98).
Speaking afterwards, Coleman revealed how he and the team approached the United game following the Turf Moor disappointment.
“It’s a tough time for us all, there is no doubt about that – but you’ve got to keep going,” he told evertontv.
“The only time you can influence things is when you’re out there on the pitch. We’re in a situation we don’t want to be in. For me, it’s about leading by example – how you train, how you act, and how you motivate yourself for the next game, even after a disappointment.
“It was a massive relief [to beat United]. There is a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to get things right.
“I know the fans feel it bad. We feel it, too, let me tell you. It’s hurting us. My wife, my kids, they’re feeling it, we all feel it.
“We have got to stick in this together for the last eight games and hopefully we can get ourselves in a better situation come the end of the season and we can all be happier.
"Thankfully we’re back at home in our next game [against Leicester], which is a massive bonus for us. The fans will get right behind us. We have to stay focused, take the positives from this game and move on – train well and train hard.
“We look to our next game and we have to show that attitude and commitment. That’s first and foremost, and, after that, hopefully the result will take care of itself."
Midfielder Delph returned the Everton starting line-up after almost four months out through injury.
He seamlessly slotted into the Blues’ midfield engine room, displaying composure, tenacity and tactical intelligence.
Delph made six clearances and three successful tackles, while his 80-per-cent passing accuracy was the best of any Everton player who started the game.
Coleman paid tribute to Delph’s complete display – and also highlighted Allan and Alex Iwobi’s tireless performances.
“Fabian came in and was absolutely immense,” Coleman said.
“He’s a top, top player. We’ve seen that over the course of his Premier League career. When you’ve got him on the pitch, you just feel that little bit more confident. He’s got experience and he’s got a massive voice – and just the way he plays, he’s very comfortable on the ball.
“Allan, too, was very important, coming in after his suspension and bringing that experience.
“And Alex Iwobi has been fantastic for us recently. He’s another one who has had his tough times, but he has kept his head down and kept working hard.”
On Academy graduate Gordon, whose 27th-minute strike proved the difference at Goodison, Coleman added: “I tell Anthony all the time, ‘When you do the other side of the game, the horrible stuff, the hard work, you sometimes get the luck you deserve’. “He got that [with his goal].
“His attitude has been fantastic. He just needs to keep going and keep building.
“We’re very proud of him.”
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