• Everton will face Bournemouth in the final game of their battle against relegation
  • Alex Iwobi has revealed Seamus Coleman has given his team-mates reminders
  • Coleman's season was ended but has been heavily involved in the dressing room

Alex Iwobi has promised this Everton squad will not take the club out of the top flight after taking inspiration from Seamus Coleman.

Everton's stricken captain suffered a season-ending knee injury at Leicester but he has not let being on crutches limit what he can do around Finch Farm and, with the blessing of manager Sean Dyche, he has given a number of dressing room pep talks.

Coleman was vocal before last week's trip to Wolves, where Yerry Mina scored the latest Premier League goal in Everton's history to snatch a point when all seemed lost, enabling them to keep matters in their own hands.

Iwobi is in no doubt that Coleman, who has been an Everton player for 14 years, will speak in front of the group in the next 48 hours and the Nigeria midfielder is under no illusion about what is on the line against Bournemouth on Sunday.

'He has been hobbling around on his crutches, coming into the changing room and trying to keep us motivated - he is basically Everton,' said Iwobi. 'He is always cheering us on and we can see what it means to him. So we are fighting for everyone here to make sure we stay in the Premier League.

'Seamus is always reminding us how so many people are affected by our results and what it means to Evertonians, to him, the people upstairs, the staff and what it should mean to us. He always reminds us that the least we can do is put 100 per cent in.

'We don't want that history where Everton go down and it is all on us. It is not going to happen on our names - that is what we are trying to make sure doesn't happen. Seamus will probably talk before the game and that will definitely kick us off.' 

Nerves are fraying on Merseyside about Everton's predicament but Iwobi has been able to take things in his stride and insists he will not be consumed by nerves - not because he doesn't care, simply because he is not a character who gets anxious in situations.

But Iwobi, whose equaliser in the 2-2 draw at Leicester may well turn out to be one of most important goals of the campaign, is fully attuned with the depth of feeling amongst fans - if he needed any reminders, he simply has to look across his garden fence.

'My neighbours are Everton fans,' he says. 'I live in Manchester but they are Everton fans. If I am walking my dog or dogs, they always say: "Come on! You can't go down!" My gardener is an Everton fan, too. He says: "We can do it! We can do it!" It amazes me how many Everton fans are around.

'Everton is a big club. You can be out mind your business and you see fans and they are so lively and energetic for the club. It just makes me feel like it is a privilege and an honour to represent such a big club. My gardener has said to me: "We'll do it...we'' do it." I said to him: "I'm sure we will."

'It gives me that extra feeling of "who am I doing it for?" I'm just doing it for (anonymous) people. I know the effect it would have on them. If Everton go down, they would be devastated. Everton means so much to them. If I'm not doing it for myself, at least let me do it for them.' 

He added: 'We want to stay in the Premier League. Honestly we are not thinking about going into the Championship - not in my mind. I am just making sure next season we are in the Premier League.'

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2023-05-25T22:15:08Z dg43tfdfdgfd