Baxter enjoys 'friendly banter'

Jose Baxter is looking forward to more teasing with his former Everton team-mates before Oldham face the Toffees again.

Last Updated: 17/02/13 at 13:34 Post Comment

Oldham will now face Everton again at Goodison Park.

Oldham will now face Everton again at Goodison Park.

Jose Baxter is looking forward to more teasing with his former Everton team-mates before Oldham mount their second bid to knock the Toffees out of the FA Cup.

The 21-year-old playmaker, who rejected a new contract at Goodison Park last summer in pursuit of regular first-team football, played his part for Oldham in their dramatic 2-2 draw against David Moyes' men in the fifth round.

Matt Smith's equaliser deep into stoppage time sent Boundary Park into raptures and put Oldham's name in the hat for the quarter-finals for the first time since 1994. The teams will do battle against on Wednesday, February 27, at Goodison.

Baxter has remained in regular contact with a number of the Everton first-team squad and exchanged text messages with England duo Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka before the match, in which the latter handed the Premier League side a 2-1 lead.

"It's only friendly banter like 'I'll see you soon' and Bainesy having a little bit of a joke," Baxter said.

"They're proper professionals. They wouldn't disrespect me or the club and say they're going to beat us.

"They really are top lads and the performances they put in for Everton show how good they are."

Baxter retains a strong affinity for a club where his appearance on the opening day of the 2008/09 season against Blackburn made him the youngest player in their history at 16 years and 191 days - a record that still stands today - and he relished an at times overwhelming occasion yesterday.

He said: "It was unbelievable, seeing so many of my old team-mates and my old manager who gave me the chance that I'm really grateful for, and what a manager he is.

"Instead of them being my team-mates and my manager they were the opposition, so it was a bit of an awkward one but I didn't half enjoy it."

Baxter's fellow Finch Farm academy graduate, Victor Anichebe, hauled Everton level after on-loan Reading winger Jordan Obita handed Oldham a 13th-minute lead, but Moyes was left to rue a last-gasp intervention from a man who is fast becoming the scourge of Merseyside.

Smith scored twice in an all-action display when Oldham stunned Liverpool 3-2 in round four, only to suffer a shoulder injury late in the contest.

The 6ft 6ins striker climbed off the bench for his first action since then in the final half-hour on Saturday evening and rewarded caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk by powering home Jonathan Grounds' right-wing corner.

"A few of my scouse mates won't be happy with him, but I sure love him," Baxter said.

"I think he's done fantastically for us. He came off the bench and had a great influence, along with Dean Furman and (Robbie) Simpson. The lads who came on really did show they were fresh-legged and ready to go."

Philliskirk took up the reins at Boundary Park a fortnight ago following Paul Dickov's resignation and ended a run of 10 npower League One games without a win when MK Dons were beaten 3-1 last weekend.

That result, coupled with Latics' continued cup heroics, strengthens the 48-year-old's case to be handed the job permanently.

But Philliskirk, who led Oldham's youth team to a 1-1 draw with Rochdale on Saturday morning, believes his talents are best suited to his day job of nurturing the club's future stars.

That was a feeling underlined by a difficult decision on the eve of the Everton match concerning a young striker.

"I honestly believe my strength is coaching and youth development," former Bolton striker Philliskirk said.

"Before the game I had to pull Dan Taylor in because Matt Smith and Robbie Simpson were both fit and Dan's been on the bench and involved in the first team all season.

"I just wanted to do it right because I knew what I was like when I was a player. I pulled the kid in and had to say, 'Dan, you're not on the bench today'. That bothered me, that really bothered me.

"When I was debating the decision of who would make the bench I actually went to sleep with a heavy heart. Is that a signal that it's not for me? Maybe so."

Along with alleging a foul on goalkeeper Tim Howard in the flurry of set-piece pressure that led to Oldham's equaliser, Moyes felt there was a question of offside surrounding Obita's opener.

The Everton manager said: "There was a little bit, but it was our fault - it was our corner kick and we didn't defend it well enough, the ball broke out from the edge of the box and we ended up losing a goal at the other end. So from our point of view, it was a really poor goal."

The replay will be Everton's first home game in the cup this season but Moyes acknowledges his team must take the rough with the smooth if they are to end an 18-year trophy drought.

He added: "I think sometimes when you are having a run in the cup, you don't always get it quite the way you want it. We have not had any draws at home. All we can do now is try to win the next game against Oldham."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think that puts all doubts over Benteke's quality to bed. Can he do it after receiving the ball to feet, in the box, totally unmarked, on a warm, sunny afternoon in Swindon? Oh yes he can! This year is definitely Liverpool's year. YNWA.

rationalmanc
WATCH: Benteke's debut screamer

A

ll very well selling all midfield and strikers but unless we bring anyone in that is better than what we had then it will be a terrible transfer window in my view. Sorted out the defense but our midfield and striker options look very light.

bigo
Spurs Halfway To The Perfect Summer

L

ove it when Jose accuses others of being defensive, cynical and playing to win. If I was Wenger, I'd get that quote laminated and framed - surely the biggest compliment he's ever received from Mourinho. You've got him riled Arsene - you're relevant again!

suarez_blind
Jose rues pitch and weather after defeat

Footer 365

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has 'difficult questions'

Arsenal centre-half Per Mertesacker says manager Arsene Wenger has a lot of "difficult questions" to answer.

West Ham forward Enner Valencia ruled out for up to 12 weeks

West Ham forward Enner Valencia has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a leg injury.

Jordy Clasie says he'd have rejected move to Man United in order to join Southampton

Jordy Clasie claims he'd have rejected Man United to sign for Southampton - saying it's "better to start lower and finish higher".

Mail Box

There's A Lot Of Anger About TV...

...and how much you have to pay - largely for games you don't actually want to watch. Many of you are forced to go illegal. We also have mails on Chelsea, Angel di Maria and...

Not Just A Friendly. This Had Meaning...

Arsenal fans are very excited about beating Chelsea (don't remind them about last year), while there is criticism for BT and a football fan tired of being screwed by TV...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company