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'I'm a fighter, there's part of me looking forward to this challenge'

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has given his first interview since his leg break against Wales.

IRELAND CAPTAIN SEAMUS Coleman has given his first interview since last month’s horror leg break in the World Cup qualifier against Wales, insisting that he is ‘a fighter’ and that his injury comeback is just another tough journey that he has to embark upon.

Coleman was speaking today to Everton’s website after returning to the club’s training ground this week at Finch Farm to begin his rehabilitation after spending some time at home in Killybegs following the injury.

Coleman was victim to a horror challenge by Welsh defender Neil Taylor in the second half of the match at the Aviva Stadium on 24 March, but revealed part of him is ‘looking forward to the challenge ahead’ as he faces a long period on the comeback trail.

“I’ve had tough journeys before in the past,” states Coleman.

“It hasn’t been a smooth journey to play for Everton and to captain my country. I’m a fighter and there’s a part of me that’s looking forward to this challenge. It’s something to start all over again and fight for.

“I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to the challenge ahead because it’s going to be tough but I’ve had tough journeys before and this is just another one.”

Seamus Coleman is carried off the field Seamus Coleman is carried off the field last month at the Aviva Stadium. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Coleman has started his rehabilitation this week with ‘small exercises’ in the gym and aqua-jogging. He enjoyed getting to spend a month at home with his family and paid tribute to the support he has received, including visits from Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and Everton boss Ronald Koeman.

He also referenced the lift he got from Phil Jagielka’s goal celebration in the recent 1-1 draw between Everton and Manchester United at Old Trafford.

“The manager came over to see me with Jags and a couple of staff members. [Republic of Ireland manager] Martin O’Neill came over to see me as well, so the support has been brilliant.

“I can’t emphasise enough the Irish players coming to visit me in hospital for the first few days and then all the messages from the lads back here. Jags’ goal celebration was great, a nice little touch.

“Sitting watching the game with my friends and hearing the fans at Old Trafford singing my song, stuff like that means a lot when you’re in the early stages of rehab and maybe a bit low. All that stuff got me through.

“Obviously, I’d rather be fit and well but I’ve had a good month at home in Ireland to get my head around everything and now I’m ready to get back to work.”

The 28-year-old revealed the volume of well wishes from supporters will help him get through ‘this tough period’.

“I’m not on social media. It was tempting to go back on to thank everyone but I thought I’d wait to come back here to do the interview and just to say thank you for the support I’ve had from the two management teams, from the doctors, the surgeons and all the fans back home and here.

Today we visit Seamus Coleman and his Family! Looking strong and positive

A post shared by Ronald Koeman (@ronaldkoeman) on

“Until something like this happens you don’t always realise how fortunate you are to play for this club, to play for the national team and to have all that support behind me.

“Every little card meant so much to me and my family. All those well-wishes will get me through this tough period because people have gone out of their way to send cards, to send prayers and it definitely gets you through it.

“I couldn’t possibly thank everyone because there’s too many but everyone has played their part so far and it’s my job now to do the rest and get back on that pitch.”

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Wales defender gets two-game ban for horror tackle that broke Coleman’s leg

‘Hopefully Seamus looks at what people like me did and realises there’s a way back from this’

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Fintan O'Toole

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