Belfast Telegraph

We're keen to win at Anfield for Coleman, says Jagielka

By John Vernon

Phil Jagielka insists the horrific injury suffered by Seamus Coleman will spur Everton on, rather than weaken them in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool on Saturday.

The Republic of Ireland defender is facing up to a year on the sidelines after undergoing an operation for a broken tibia and fibula he sustained following a challenge by Wales defender Neil Taylor on Friday.

Everton are searching for their first win over their city rivals at Anfield since 1999 and Jagielka said he and his team-mates will be speaking to Coleman prior to the game for extra incentive.

"There are two massive games coming up and that's one thing Seamus will want us to do, to play well and get some good results," said Jagielka, who will lead the Toffees against Manchester United three days later.

"We'll all be thinking about him and, come Saturday and Tuesday, I'm sure he'll have the TV on and be cheering us on. There'll be no incentive needed, but the circumstances over the last few days might add a bit of a motivational edge on our behalf."

Republic of Ireland captain Coleman is a big figure in the changing room as well as on the pitch, where he has started 26 of Everton's 29 Premier League games this season, and will be a big miss as Ronald Koeman's side push for a European place.

"Seamus is a massive part of the furniture," Jagielka added. "He's been here a long time, he's one of the leaders. All we can do is be there for him. He's had the operation, it's been a success and he's on the slow road to recovery.

"He'll be down at the moment because it's not long since it happened. His friends and family away from football will help him through these initial stages. When he is able to do things it's up to us as a club - the players, physios, coaches. I'm sure we'll be able to get him to where he needs to get to.

"Hopefully it is as quick as possible, but the main thing is that he gets back to the levels he's been showing."

Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, meanwhile, is hoping to continue his unbeaten run in the Merseyside derby which he believes is as intense for players as it is for fans.

Coutinho was in Brazil's squad for a World Cup qualifier at home to Paraguay last night along with club-mate Roberto Firmino and Liverpool have chartered a private jet to get the pair home as quickly as possible.

"The rivalry is like any derby - it's intense," said Coutinho, who has scored twice in seven appearances against Everton, enjoying two wins and five draws.

"I've experienced these games home and away and the intensity is equal with the fans. They're the victories you always enjoy."

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