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Everton captain Seamus Coleman.
Everton captain Seamus Coleman.
Image: Nick Potts

'This club needs European football,' says Everton captain Coleman after surge in form under Ancelotti

The Toffees are targeting Europe as the business end of the season approaches.
Feb 11th 2020, 12:05 PM 4,599 1

IRELAND AND EVERTON captain Séamus Coleman has conceded that his Toffees teammates didn’t believe European qualification was possible a few months back — but now, it is the Premier League outfit’s main focus.

The Donegal native says Everton’s confidence is soaring after an impressive run of results, their latest 3-1 win over Crystal Palace following up a dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Watford at Vicarage Road.

Since Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment in December, Coleman’s Blues have earned 17 points from eight Premier League clashes, and sit seventh in the table meaning they’re in a good position to secure European football for 2020/21. 

While Sheffield United are in fifth — the Europa League spot — Everton are just three points behind. The top four teams qualify for the Champions League.

“We’re trying to catch those European places,” Coleman stated in an interview with evertontv, while noting that the mood is good and confidence high at Goodison Park.

“A few months ago, we probably didn’t think that was possible. But we’re playing well now and just looking forward to every game.

We’ve got to push for Europe. I think this club needs European football and we all want that.

“Especially here at Goodison, playing under the lights, it’s exciting. It’s something different. It’s what we want for the football club.

“Where this football club wants to get in the next three, four, five years, it has to be wanting European football every year and if we can get it this year, that’s a bonus.”

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31-year-old Coleman, who made his 309th Everton appearance — a total exceeded by just 30 players in the club’s history — in last weekend’s home win over Palace, went on to stress his belief that the Toffees have a bright future under Ancelotti.

everton-v-newcastle-united-premier-league-goodison-park Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti. Source: Richard Sellers

A “world-class manager,” he says of the Italian, adding that every player in the squad is looking to prove their quality in a side hoping to compete more and more for silverware.

“Every player out there needs to want to be part of the club going forward,” Coleman concluded. “It’s an exciting time for the fans and for the players and, when you’ve got a manager of that calibre, you can’t not be excited.

When you play for this football club, 100% is the minimum you should be giving.

“When we all come together here at Goodison, the fans and everything, it’s a tough place to come for everyone. And since the manager has come in, it has been mostly positive results.”

Meanwhile today, Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has suggested he is unlikely to change his thinking on the Coleman-Matt Doherty right-back conundrum, and believes that playing the two of them in the same team doesn’t work.

The Boys In Green are facing into a huge Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia next month.

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Emma Duffy

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