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'Seamus's defensive header at the end was just as good as my goal'

Theo Walcott was full of praise for the Ireland international after his performance against Newcastle.

Seamus Coleman pictured during last night's match.
Seamus Coleman pictured during last night's match.
Image: Martin Rickett

LAST NIGHT’S GAME between Everton and Newcastle was largely a typical end-of-season match, with few thrills or spills.

However, there was one rare exception late on in the game, when Seamus Coleman produced a brilliant headed clearance to deny a goalbound Jacob Murphy effort.

It was a pivotal moment in the match, as it ensured his side finished the game with a clean sheet and all three points.

It’s still recently enough that the 29-year-old Irish captain returned to action after almost a year out with a broken leg.

Last night was his ninth Premier League appearance of the season and Martin O’Neill and the Ireland fans will be encouraged by how seamlessly the full-back has adapted back to life at the top level.

One other person who has been impressed with Coleman is team-mate Theo Walcott, who scored the winner amid a 1-0 victory for the Toffees.

“Seamus’s defensive header at the end was just as good as my goal, it really was,” he told Sky Sports after the game.

“He’s an absolute dream to play with. At times, as a winger, he tells you ‘I don’t mind being one-on-one [against an opponent],’ that just shows you the confidence he’s got in himself defensively.

“But going forward as well, the way you can link off him, he’s played at the highest level for so long and obviously, he’s had that horrific injury. To come back the way he has as well, mentally it’s not an easy thing, I’ve had a long injury and it’s not easy to come back from. You wouldn’t have even thought he got the injury. He’s a fantastic professional and a great character in the dressing room. Every time you think of Everton, he’s the first man you think of.”

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Paul Fennessy

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