Seamus Coleman earned his sixth international cap as the Republic of Ireland enjoyed an easy 4-1 win over Oman in an international friendly at Craven Cottage in London on Tuesday.
The Killybegs native played in his more natural right-back position and had a fine game, even moving to the centre of midfield in the latter stages as manager Giovanni Trapattoni rung the changes late on.
Trapattoni handed four players their debuts as the Irish starting 11 featured nine changes from the side which staged a late comeback to beat Kazakhstan 2-1 on Friday, and the Italian’s experimentation was vindicated with Robbie Brady, David Meyler, Alex Pearce and Darren Randolph all having impressive debuts.
Ireland took the lead after just seven minutes. Brady floated a free kick to the far post where it was headed back by Sean St Ledger, and an unmarked Shane Long was on hand to head home.
David Meyler and Robbie Brady were both doing well in the early stages of their first caps, while Coleman was getting forward where possible.
After 22 minutes, a deflected Coleman cross fell to Robbie Brady at the edge of the area, who struck it first time with his weak foot to put Ireland 2-0 up.
Captain Kevin Doyle did well to win a free kick at the edge of the area, and then was on hand to head in the resulting free-kick which was flighted in by Brady in the 36th minute.
Oman grabbed a 72nd minute consolation goal when Eid Mohammed was allowed too much space on the left side, and struck the ball past substitute goalkeeper Darren Randolph to make it 3-1. Ireland added a fourth when substitute Alex Bruce scored a late header.
Twenty-three-year-old Coleman will now turn his concentration back to Everton’s Premier League campaign and Monday night’s fixture at home to Newcastle United. The side managed by David Moyes are currently in a healthy fifth place in the table, having defeated Manchester United and Aston Villa, before going down to West Bromwich Albion last time out.
Coleman, after a frustrating campaign last term with injuries, appeared from the bench in those two victories and also played in the 5-0 League Cup win over Leyton Orient. The former Sligo Rovers player admitted he has been studying the attributes of teammate, left-back Leighton Baines.
“I’m feeling good and fit,” Coleman said. “Last year I was in and out of the team and had a lot of injuries. I never really felt fully fit when I was playing and normally that is one of my main attributes, my ability to get up and down the pitch. I feel like I’ve got that back, thank god.
“Right-back is where I’ve played all my life other than the last two seasons. That was my first position and I really enjoyed playing there again. When I’m not playing games I am watching and I watch Bainesy and try and learn from him. For me, he is the best left-back in England and if asked to play full-back, if I could do half as good a job as him that would be great.”
“I’ve been in and around the squad now for a couple of years and I maybe haven’t had as many games as I would have liked,” he added. “But breaking into the team at Everton is hard, especially the way we are playing at the minute.
“I really enjoy right-back. It is the position I grew up playing so hopefully I can do a job there when asked to fill-in. But I will also be happy on the right of midfield if there is an opportunity.”
Ireland return to their World Cup 2014 qualification series with a double-header next month. Germany come to the Aviva Stadium on Friday, October 12, before travelling to the Faroe Islands four days later.