SéAMUS Coleman has hailed the impact made by Everton's new midfield duo in last night's triumph over QPR as the Toffees managed their first win in five games, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.
But the Donegal native admits he is being teased by his pals over a goal drought which has seen the right back go eight games without scoring.
Ross Barkley, Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith all scored to put Everton into a 3-0 lead after 53 minutes, Bobby Zamora scoring a late consolation goal for QPR, though there was a downside to the night as Mirallas suffered an ankle injury late on which could keep him out of action for some time, a blow for Toffees boss Roberto Martinez.
Coleman raved about midfielders Barkley and Mo Besic and the part they played in the win. "I thought Mo gave Ross that protection and broke a lot of things up as well. He let Ross have the freedom of the middle of the park and I thought he was very direct and very positive," Coleman said today.
"We know what he's capable of and it's great to see him doing that.
"I thought it was one of Mo's better performances definitely. We see him a lot in training and that's the way he goes about his business in training. He's a tough-tackling midfielder, a great lad and he will do anything for the team. It's good to see him put in such a great performance."
Coleman scored three times in his first five games this season but has now gone eight matches without a goal. "All my mates have been telling me that. They're texting me telling me I was due one last night and I had to remind them I'm a right-back. But it's a big part of my game trying to get in as much as I can and I haven't scored for a couple of games now, but don't forget I'm a right back," he added.
Midfeld has been a problem for Everton but with Gareth Barry back from suspension, Steven Naismith fit again, John Stones on the bench and James McCarthy nearing a return from injury, Coleman is optimistic. "It's massive to have John Stones and Steve Naismith back and hopefully we'll have James back soon as well," added Coleman.