Seamus Coleman believes it is “good for the country” that Premier League football continues throughout the Covid crisis.
A third national lockdown of the pandemic was imposed last week as the government try to get a grip of the soaring cases of coronavirus with a new strain spreading quicker.
Managers including Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce have called for a circuit-breaker amid a string of postponed top flight matches – including Everton’s game with Manchester City in late December.
Premier League football was halted from mid-March until June during the first wave of Covid but has been played, uninterrupted since then.
And Coleman believes that top flight football carrying on through the crisis is important for the nation’s mental health and gives supporters something to look forward to as the government tell people to stay at home.
“From a player’s point of view, my view on it is I want to do what’s right at all times but I do know that so many – and you know unless you’re involved in football, and you know football and supported football all your life – so many people need it,” Coleman said.
“It’s been tough, tough times for lots of people in the world right now and there have been, I’m sure, the numbers on mental health have gone through the roof as well because you’re being told what you can and can’t do until we get rid of this virus. So, for me, I think football has to go on, to give people, supporters of clubs, something to do, something to look forward to.
“If you’re about the house all day, and you’ve got nothing to look forward to in the evening, then it can be a long day for people. So I think it has to go on so people, who might be working from home, then have something to look forward to at the end of the day, whether it’s a big Premier League clash, top of the table clash, relegation clash, whatever the case may be. I think it’s good for the country that football continues.”
Everton squeezed through to the fourth round of the FA Cup after beating Rotherham 2-1 after extra-time at Goodison on Saturday.
Coleman says a players’ meeting at the beginning of the season broached the subject of the club’s long wait for silverware but it was decided that they would not dwell on the drought and, instead, focus on game to game.
And Coleman says “we’ve got to believe” that the process being led by Carlo Ancelotti will lead the club to cup success sooner rather than later.
“Yeah, listen I make people aware of it,” he said of the wait.
“I’ve been here 11 years as well and we had a talk at the start of the season when we discussed what we want from this season but I think what we came to the conclusion was you can’t really think that far ahead. I think we need to be the best that we can be every single day and be so competitive in every single game and just take one step a time. Because if you put all your energy into winning a cup from the start of the season and keep emphasising it, then you can take your eye off other things.
“So I think we came to the conclusion of, every day, be the best that we can be in training, do things properly around the training ground and, yeah, that is the bigger goal and that is what this club needs. And that’s what this club will get – whether it’s with or without this current group of players – if it takes some time, I don’t know, but it will happen and we’ve all got to believe that.”
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“I’m not even thinking of that,” Coleman said, of being part of the team to end the silverware wait.
“I don’t have that type of ego that I want to win it for me, as captain. That’s the way I’m looking at it as well, I just want us to come in and be the best that we can be every day and not take a single day for granted. That’s where the foundation are laid and if you’re not successful on the training pitch, day in day out, week in, week out, then you won’t win anything. So ultimately, I know it may be boring, but we’ve just got to the best we can be every day and we’ve got a manager who’s won things and we’ve just got to believe in the process.”