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Europa League Group H

Baines: Home form is crucial

Everton defender Leighton Baines believes maintaining their impressive unbeaten home form will be crucial in the race for Champions League places this season.

Last Updated: 05/11/13 at 15:54 Post Comment

Leighton Baines: Determined to make Goodison a fortress

Leighton Baines: Determined to make Goodison a fortress

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The Toffees earned a point from a goalless draw with Tottenham on Sunday, but a victory would have lifted them to second in the Premier League.

They have not suffered defeat in the league at Goodison Park since December 30, and Baines is hoping to make it as uncomfortable as possible for visiting teams.

"I think we have to make it so that other people don't enjoy coming here," said the England left-back.

"If Tottenham and Chelsea are not getting any results from us here then it will make other teams think twice about how they approach the game."

Baines is also aware that his side need to pick up more points on their travels if they are to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish.

Despite being seventh in the table, Roberto Martinez's team are only a point behind second-placed Chelsea, and Baines added: "Hopefully we can start winning a few more.

"It is quite congested in the top six or seven and a win can do a lot for you. We have to stay with the pack and keep winning games."

Martinez takes his squad to bottom side Crystal Palace on Saturday, and midfielder James McCarthy is not taking the Eagles lightly despite them being without a manager since the departure of Ian Holloway.

"It's a tough place to go and we need to make amends. It's not going to be easy," said McCarthy.

"They are looking to get a new manager and improve all the time but we will have a right go at it.

"Crystal Palace will come at us and we will work on that this week but we need to go there and try to get three points on the board."

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