Explosive Coleman hits back at...


Explosive Coleman hits back at press conference rumours, defends Duffy

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Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has angrily dismissed claims he was made to attend a press conference against his will. 

Earlier this year, it was reported that Coleman was asked to perform media duties ahead of Stephen Kenny's first game in charge, despite knowing he was omitted from the starting XI.

On the occasion in question, Matt Doherty was picked for the 1-1 draw away to Bulgaria.

Various injuries have prevented Coleman from playing a single minute under Kenny to date.

That could well change in Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier away to Serbia.

While Kenny was keeping the Coleman card close to his chest ahead of the game, his captain addressed rumours of his supposed disquiet head-on.

When asked if he took issue with fulfilling press conferences while questions over his starting place remain, the Donegal native shot back, "Absolutely not one bit difficult whatsoever!

"There's no ego with me whatsoever.

"I read something about me being disappointed at being asked, or getting told, to go to a press conference.

"The manager left me out of his first game. [He] had the decency to call me to his room and explain situation, which I was fine with because Matt [Doherty] was playing very well at the time.

"There's absolutely no ego involved in me, and there never has been.

"And then to read that I was disappointed to be asked to go to a press conference, when the manager had the decency to say 'You don't have to do the press conference if you don't want, I know it might be disappointing because you're not playing, so if you don't want to do it you don't have to, if you want to do it it's fine'.

"My duty as captain - my duty for the rest of the players - is to be positive around the place, whether I play or don't play.

"And I went to that press conference with no issues whatsoever.

"So it was actually very disappointing to read something like that about myself when I've got a character in the game that plenty of managers would back.

"And if any other of my managers read that, I'd say they'd be like 'ooh, that was a bit strange, that was a bit surprising', so that was a bit disappointing to read, I have to say."

Would he have even have had the opportunity to mourn his Dad properly?

Coleman's positivity has been channeled the way of Shane Duffy going into Wednesday night's game in Belgrade.

The last man to score an international goal for Ireland has endured a torrid season under the microscope at Celtic.

It's led some to question whether the Derry defender should start against Serbia. But for Coleman, there's no doubting Duffy's assets.

"Shane Duffy is a warrior. Shane Duffy is a leader," the captain said.

"I think all us Irish people have seen that over the years with his performances.

"Listen, he's not had the most easiest [of] times up in Scotland, but I've watched the games that he's played but I don't think Shane Duffy's the reason things are going the way they went up there [in Scotland].

"There's been a lot of other reasons, I'm sure, for it.

"I don't know if he'll mind me saying this or not but, Shane Duffy's Dad passed away last summer. And not long after his Dad died he was straight back out on a plane to Brighton, and straight up to Celtic.

"They're the little things that I don't think people take into account.

"I don't know would he have even have had the opportunity to mourn his Dad properly? Because this football bubble feels so important... yeah you've got to get back to work, yeah you've got to get back to Brighton.

"For me, I think a lot of that has got to be taken into account too.

"And I think we've all got to bear that in mind, that this lad would do anything for his club or his country.

"He doesn't sulk, he's a great character around the place. He's a warrior.

"He had a tough time and jumped on a plane to get back to work, maybe quicker than most people would.

"But Shane Duffy's done enough - he's got enough credit in the bank for this country to keep supporting him, as media and as players."

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Ireland Qatar 2022 Republic Of Ireland Seamus Coleman Serbia Stephen Kenny World Cup Qualifiers

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