Seamus Coleman spoke of how his hard work in fighting back from a serious knee injury paid off after grabbing his first Blues goal since January 2017 in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Brighton.
With the Premier League contest locked at 1-1, Coleman collected Andre Gomes’ pass on the edge of the area with 50 minutes on the clock and unleashed a powerful low drive into the bottom left-hand corner.
It was the skipper’s first Everton goal since he hit the winner at Crystal Palace in January 2017, having missed 10 months of football after breaking his leg during international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
The victory over Brighton – which also saw Richarlison net twice – was the Blues’ fourth win in five league games and moved Marco Silva’s men to within two points of sixth-placed Brighton.
Coleman was delighted to hit the target in front of the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End and explained his passionate celebration which followed his strike.
“It was great to score for the first time in a long while because of the injury I had,” said the 30-year-old right-back. “Scoring goals is part of my game over the years and I enjoyed scoring again.
“There was a bit of everything [with my celebration]. It was my first goal since I broke my leg. When I came back here in January [from the broken leg] and played against Leicester, the reception I got from Everton fans is something which will stay with me for a long time.
"The fans understand the love I have for them and vice-versa. The only way you can keep going is keep battling, keep doing the right things, keep working hard in training, keep listening to the manager, and your luck will turn around and that happened to me."
“There have been a couple of times this season when I've not been good enough and that's fine, I take that on the chin, work hard and try to improve every day. Thankfully, today my hard work paid off."
Everton head to second-placed Chelsea next Sunday in confident mood. But before the trip to Stamford Bridge, they host a historic game against Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia on Tuesday night.
The fixture will kick off at 7pm and will mark the first occasion an East African club side has played a Premier League club in the UK.
Tickets are priced at just £5 for adults and £1 for concessions, with all match proceeds being donated to Everton in the Community to enable the Club’s official charity to continue its ground-breaking work across Merseyside and around the world.
Coleman believes the game is a chance for both Everton and Gor Mahia to catch the eye under the lights at the Grand Old Lady.
“We are very much looking forward to the game because it is a great opportunity for us and Gor Mahia,” he added. “The manager and the technical team will prepare something for us and we will do our homework and this should be a great match.
“We have a squad of 26 players and of course we have to mix it up. But we won't take it lightly that we need to win. We have to give a good account of ourselves.”
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