McCarthy and Martinez have taken me to next level – Coleman
Seamus Coleman has credited Roberto Martinez and James McCarthy's arrivals at Goodison Park as the key factors in his dramatic upturn in form.
The 25-year-old full-back ended last season with seven Premier League goals – more than any other defender scored from open play in the top-flight – and firmly believes the advice of his Catalan manager and positional astuteness of his Irish international colleague resulted in his progress.
"From day one, I have loved life under Roberto," said Coleman. "I have gone on to another level in terms of goals – something I was missing from my game.
"And it all stemmed from the first game of the season against Norwich, when he took me aside at half-time and showed me a clip on his laptop of a situation where he thought I should have attacked, yet instead, held a defensive position.
"He told me there and then to start taking risks. In the second half of that game, I took a chance and got a goal."
Coleman also insists his defensive skills have improved under Martinez's watch.
"I probably still made a couple of mistakes, but there are not many players who go through a Premier League season being blemish free."
When his fellow professionals voted for their Premier League team of the year, Coleman again came out on top – topping the poll among rival right-backs for a position in the PFA XI.
"The awards are nice, but you wouldn't get them without support from your team-mates. I feel comfortable in the right-back position now and thankfully I have got James in midfield who, when I do bomb on, covers brilliantly for me.
"Without him I probably wouldn't have been doing as many forward runs in games."
Meanwhile Irish defender, Richard Keogh said he is driven by "winning" and "togetherness" rather than the allure of a £4.5m bonus which will be divided among Derby's players if they succeed in beating QPR in Saturday's Championship play-off final.
"It would be great to win promotion with these lads because we are not just team mates, we are all good friends as well," he said.
"We want to do it as a group of mates."