Seamus Coleman denies delaying injury comeback for Everton to guarantee Euro 2016 fitness

Seamus Coleman celebrates after scoring the second goal for Everton

The Everton right-back missed the final six games of the domestic campaign.

Everton's Seamus Coleman applauds their fans after the game

Everton right-back Seamus Coleman has denied that he delayed a return from injury in the final weeks of the season in order to guarantee his fitness for Euro 2016, as quoted by the Mirror.

The Republic of Ireland defender missed the final six matches of the campaign with a hamstring injury, but was fit to return for his country's friendly with the Netherlands less than two weeks after the final fixture and is expected to feature heavily in France this month.

In the 27-year-old's absence, an already struggling Everton side lost four of their final six matches in all competitions, including the FA Cup semi-final to Manchester United and a 4-0 humiliation in the Merseyside derby, and manager Roberto Martinez lost his job.

Everton's Seamus Coleman during the press conference

Questions have been raised over Coleman's inability to return before the end of the season, but the player steadfastly denied putting his international interests above those of his club.

When asked if he delayed his comeback, Coleman replied, as quoted by the Mirror: "I missed the FA Cup semi-final and I missed the derby with Liverpool, so no.

"If I could have played I would have been desperate to play them. Unfortunately we didn’t get to the cup final.

Bosnia's Senad Lulic in action with Republic of Ireland's Seamus Coleman

"I had a scan and it just wasn’t right. I possibly could have played the last game but what’s the point in risking it with the big summer ahead."

Coleman is one of Everton's longest-serving current players, having made 219 appearances since joining the club in 2009.

However, he was one of numerous players criticised on occasion this season for a perceived drop in form and commitment under Martinez, something which was ultimately a factor in the Spaniard's dismissal.

Seamus Coleman celebrates after scoring the second goal for Everton

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