Séamus Coleman’s leg break a huge blow to club and country, says Martin O’Neill

Stuart James
Séamus Coleman was carried from the pitch on a stretcher after suffering a broken leg following a tackle by the Wales defender Neil Taylor. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Rex Shutterstock

Martin O’Neill described Séamus Coleman’s broken leg as a huge blow to the Republic of Ireland and Everton after the right-back suffered a horrific injury that overshadowed the goalless draw against Wales. Neil Taylor received a straight red card for the reckless challenge that led to Coleman leaving the field on a stretcher and being taken to hospital.

Taylor tried to apologise to Coleman after the game but the Ireland defender had already left the stadium.

“Séamus has gone to hospital, it’s been confirmed by the doctor that he has broken his leg, obviously it’s a real blow to him. He’s having the season of a lifetime at club level, he’s a big player for us and a great character,” O’Neill said.

“It’s a big, big loss to Everton and a big loss to us. But he’ll fight back, I hope. He’s a fantastic player. Apparently it wasn’t the best challenge in the world – I haven’t seen it.”

Chris Coleman, the Wales manager, accepted there was no excuse for a poor challenge but defended Taylor’s reputation and maintained that it was out of character for a player who suffered a serious injury of his own five years ago, when he fractured his ankle.

“Neil Taylor is devastated. It’s not going to make Séamus feel any better but Neil is not that type of player,” the Wales manager said. “I’ve not seen the challenge but I’ve seen the outcome. It’s a bad one for Séamus and that’s a shame. He’s someone I respect, I think he’s one of the best full-backs in the Premier League so I hope he’s not out for too long.”

Wales also had Gareth Bale booked for a lunge on John O’Shea that led to a tense exchange with the Irish press afterwards, as it was suggested that the Real Madrid forward should also have been sent off.

“Your boys weren’t coming off with halos on their heads,” Coleman said.

“It was going on all through the game. I’m not complaining – it was a typical British game of football. Gareth got a yellow card, the referee thought he was late. From where I was looking at it, I thought he had to go for it.”

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