Sam Allardyce has hailed the “superhuman” performance of Seamus Coleman in Everton's win over Leicester City on Wednesday but wants to ease the Irishman back following his long injury lay-off.
The full-back was named in the starting line-up for Wednesday’s home win over the Foxes after the Everton boss revealed he would be a part of the squad in some capacity.
Coleman completed the full 90 minutes, rounding off his performance with a number of vintage lung-bursting runs into attack.
Prior to the weekend’s game against Arsenal, Allardyce said: “I don’t go this far normally but it was almost superhuman. I’ve never seen someone come back from 10 months out and perform for 90 minutes.
“I think the character of the man is a great example, particularly for the younger players at Everton.”
The 29-year-old put in a man of the match performance in the win over the Foxes but was beaten to the post-match award by Theo Walcott after the forward’s brace sealed the win for the Blues.
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Until the end
The Blues almost threw away their comfortable two-goal half-time lead in the second-half but it was moments like Coleman doing his utmost in the dying stages of the match that secured the win.
Coleman capitalised on a poor throw-in from substitute Christian Fuchs to spring into the Leicester half, taking the pressure of his fellow defenders who had been under the cosh of the majority of the second 45.
“When you can sprint the last 80 yards in the 92nd minute with the ball, and opposition players, who have been playing every week can’t catch you up, it shows you the tremendous capacity for the game that he has and how pleased he was to be back. That shows his mental strength,” Allardyce continued.
“Mentally he is is very, very strong. It’s great to have him back, but now we need to make sure we keep him fit and make sure we keep him in the team every match if we can.”
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Managing Coleman's return
The Blues boss will wait to see on Coleman’s availability for Saturday’s evening kick-off with Arsenal even though he knows the Irish international will want to play.
“We need to have an assessment this morning about where we lie in playing him again,” said the Everton boss.
“That’s a big decision. He’s going to say he’s fine, I know that for a fact but we’ll take everything into consideration and see what the situation is.”
Jonjoe Kenny, who made the step-up to the first team earlier this term, is likely to deputise if Coleman is rested.