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Coleman can 'see double'


Everton's Seamus Coleman. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA

Everton's Seamus Coleman. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA

Everton's Seamus Coleman. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA

ROBERTO MARTINEZ has set a double figure goals target for Seamus Coleman and sees no reason why the best full-back in the Premier League won't hit that mark.

"There's no reason why he shouldn't get double figures. Obviously that's not a target – a full-back never gets on the pitch to score a goal, but what's true is he gets in such great positions," said Everton boss Martinez.

"I admire the way he experiments with his role and also looks for assists as well. He's not a selfish player at all.

"He's scored six, but he's helped create a good number too. The most impressive aspect of all has been his decision-making."


Martinez believes Coleman's growing stature is a result of regular football at the highest level and his own in-built hunger to score goals.

"I think it comes from a combination of his maturity and the amount of games he's played at this level, and then when you see him in training, you realise he's a very good finisher anyway," said Martinez.

"So for us it was a case of getting him in better positions more often. As a full-back, sometimes you can get in good crossing positions, but we're working to get Seamus into goal-scoring positions because he has that quality.

"I feel he can have one or two good goalscoring opportunities in every game. It's partly down to his physical ability to get up and down the pitch and the rest is natural talent."

Martinez is convinced that Coleman's loan spell at Blackpool was crucial in his development.

"In any youngster who is starting to play in the Premier League, they will always benefit from a time out on loan," he said. "It's vital. That's why we'll have nine players out on loan during this window.

"At Blackpool Seamus was able to enjoy his football with no pressure and allowed to make mistakes. It just helps you develop as a footballer.

"I saw him play for Blackpool a few times and when I'm looking at him now, he's showing the same confidence, belief and swagger he had there. It's a great aim to have."

Meanwhile, Leighton Baines is set to return to Everton's defence this weekend, but Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka are likely to be sidelined for another fortnight.

Manager Martinez is confident his England left-back will be fit for the visit of Norwich after sitting out the FA Cup win over QPR with a back spasm.

"Leighton Baines was just a back spasm and he is recovering as we expected, so I don't think he's going to be too far from being able to train," he said.

"I would say Leighton will be back in training on Thursday. We'll then have to assess him.

"Back spasms can be cleared completely or they can leave you a little bit with a lack of mobility.

"Any player needs to be 100 per cent to be able to play and to be considered to play, so we'll assess Leighton on Thursday, see how he is and take it from there."

The hamstring injuries sustained by Baines' defensive colleagues are, however, set to keep the pair out for possibly another two weeks – although that would still be timely as Everton have an FA Cup fourth round tie at Stevenage followed a couple of days later by a trip to Anfield in the Merseyside derby.