Seamus Coleman putting pressure on Sadio Mane during Everton's recent game against Liverpool. Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
High hopes

Champions League football the objective for Everton captain Seamus Coleman

‘Carlo Ancelotti has not put pen to paper on a contract at this club to be with a mid table team.’

SEAMUS COLEMAN BELIEVES Everton are capable of challenging for Champions League qualification under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti.

Despite enduring a difficult start to the season, which led to the sacking of manager Marco Silva, the Toffees would overtake Tottenham Hotspur and move into the top half of the Premier League table with a win away to Jose Mourinho’s side tonight.

Having built on a draw against Liverpool by defeating Norwich City and Leicester City, Everton are undefeated since the season resumed following the postponement that was enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Champions League place might be out of reach for this season, but Coleman reckons it should a realistic aim for his club going forward.

Ancelotti, who was a Champions League winner as manager of AC Milan and Real Madrid, was appointed Everton boss on a four-and-a-half-year deal just before Christmas.

While the Merseyside outfit have competed at Europa League level on several occasions in recent seasons, their last involvement in the Champions League came during the 2005-06 campaign, when they were eliminated by Villarreal in the qualifying rounds.

“I want us to be consistent,” said Coleman, Everton’s captain, who has made over 300 appearances for the club since his 2009 transfer from Sligo Rovers.

“I want the club to be back challenging for Champions League places and what-not. Carlo Ancelotti has not put pen to paper on a contract at this club to be with a mid-table team. He wants to be successful. I really hope and believe that can be the case.

“We have got Carlo Ancelotti as manager of Everton Football Club and he has got proven success, and that is what this club is desperate for,” the Donegal native added, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.

everton-v-leicester-city-premier-league-goodison-park Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti. Peter Powell / NMC Pool/PA Wire Peter Powell / NMC Pool/PA Wire / NMC Pool/PA Wire

“I think over the years, ever since I came, finance is probably something we lacked. We looked for financial bargains and any player we could get, but now we have the financial backing and a world-class manager so I think it is an exciting time.”

Coleman has received considerable praise for his recent performances, with the 31-year-old Ireland defender facing competition this season from French international Djibiril Sidibe.

“I worked hard in lockdown and I came back and I feel good, feel fit and it is up to other people to judge my form. I never really get too tied down on that,” said the Donegal native.

“When I go to bed at night, or finish training, and I look in the mirror regardless of how I played, it is about two things: am I a good teammate? Have I given 100% in training? And the answer is always yes.

“Do I give the ball away? Do I make mistakes? Everyone does, but as long as I can look in the mirror and know that I am giving my all, then when Sidibe is in the team I am supporting him 100% because I want the best for the club.

“If Sidibe is playing well and the team is winning, then so be it. I want to play but I also want my team to do well.”

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