SEAMUS COLEMAN’S frustrating season continued on Saturday when he was forced to hobble off for the second successive game in which he had started.
The Killybegs native had been out of action for three weeks before making a first-team return for Everton’s FA Cup third round fixture against Tamworth Town from the Blue Square Bet Premier at Goodison Park.
Coleman, who played at right-back, limped off with a recurrence of a thigh strain - that also forced a withdrawal against Swansea City before Christmas - in the 57th minute after goalkeeper Joe Collister had tipped over his cross-cum-shot. Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga struck with a header before Coleman’s replacement Leighton Baines added a late penalty to seal Everton’s 2-0 win.
“People are talking and asking is Seamus Coleman a right winger or a right back? And it gave him a chance back there,” said manager David Moyes afterwards. “Coleman has re-injured a thigh strain he had.”
Shane Duffy, who was recalled from a loan with Scunthorpe last week, was on the bench for Everton. Twenty-year-old Duffy was born in Derry and his father Brian is from Letterkenny.
While Duffy may again make the substitutes’ bench, Coleman is not expected to be part of the Everton squad for the Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane tomorrow night. It’s also unlikely he will get a chance to line out in Birmingham on Saturday against Aston Villa, although another Donegal man could.
Villa manager Alex McLeish believes that goalkeeper Shay Given is close to being fully fit again after a month on the sidelines with a hamstring injury sustained against Manchester United.
“Shay is not far away and feels he could be ready pretty soon,” McLeish said. “He was champing at the bit over the festive period because he wanted to be involved. He could have a chance of being ready for the Everton game.”
American Brad Guzan has deputised for Given and kept goal in Saturday’s 3-1 FA Cup win at the Memorial Stadium against Bristol Rovers.
Elsewhere, Ramelton native Conrad Logan, who returned to Championship outfit Leicester City from a loan with Rotherham United last week, was not part of the matchday squad for the scoreless FA Cup draw with Nottingham Forest.