Martin O’Neill: Seamus Coleman is coming to terms with leg break
‘He’s getting out tomorrow. It’s encouraging. He’s very positive, which I knew he would be’
Ireland’s Seamus Coleman leaves the pitch on a stretcher during Friday night’s draw with Wales. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Seamus Coleman is expected to take the first steps on the road to his recovery from a sickening double leg fracture when he leaves hospital on Wednesday.
As the Republic of Ireland slipped to a 1-0 friendly defeat to Iceland at the Aviva Stadium, Coleman was preparing to start out on the long road back to fitness in earnest with manager Martin O’Neill having found him in good spirits when he visited him on Tuesday.
O’Neill said: “Seamus is doing much better today. I went to see him again. He’s in better spirits.
“It’s as much to do with he’s still got the family around — his brother, his wife, his mother and the youngster all keeping him pretty busy. I think he’s doing much better now. It’s not something you’re going to get over in 24 hours, 36 hours. He’s in much better spirits.
“He’s getting out tomorrow, I think. It’s encouraging to see. He’s very positive, which I knew he would be. It’s a tough injury. Could he get over it? If anybody can quickly, then Seamus can do that.”
If Coleman’s disposition delighted O’Neill, he was left with food for thought after a game in which his fringe players were given a chance to show what they have to offer, with mixed results.
Brentford defender John Egan and Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane were handed debuts from the start, while Preston pair Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan followed suit from the bench and Callum O’Dowda once again impressed with a late cameo.
However, a distinctly forgettable affair was decided by a rare piece of quality as Bristol City defender Hordur Magnusson curled a left-foot free-kick into Keiren Westwood’s bottom corner before he could move, and O’Neill was less than impressed by the way his new-look side defended it.
He said: “We talk about set-pieces deciding big games or World Cup matches. They’re deciding World Cup finals, they’re deciding Champions League finals — regardless of who you’re playing, they’re so important.
“Defending set pieces, corner kicks and free-kicks are of paramount importance. Tonight in this game, we didn’t do it.
“In the first half, we didn’t do well at all, not that Iceland created a great deal either. The second half, I thought we had loads of possession. But creating some clear-cut chances is something we have to try to do better.”