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Baines hails defensive effort

Leighton Baines believes Everton's defensive resilience has allowed them to remain in the race for Europe in recent weeks.

Last Updated: 29/04/13 at 17:33 Post Comment

Leighton Baines: Pleased with defensive effort

Leighton Baines: Pleased with defensive effort

Leighton Baines believes Everton's defensive resilience has allowed them to remain in the race for Europe in recent weeks.

On Saturday the Toffees ground out a 1-0 win over Fulham to record their fifth clean sheet in seven matches.

They are only three points behind fifth-placed Tottenham, who do have a match in hand, but with goals not easy to come by Baines is grateful for their strength at the back.

"We have not been conceding many goals at all lately, apart from the one last week (the 1-0 defeat at Sunderland)," said the England international.

"We've kept a few clean sheets on the bounce at Goodison and we probably could have got another couple of goals against Fulham.

"We didn't put them away but in the end we only needed the one but we created some chances.

"We have been playing well and there was good build-up to the goal and we had a couple of other moves which were similar which didn't quite have the finish."

Steven Pienaar scored the goal against the Cottagers, his seventh of the season but only the second in the league in 2013.

"We rely on him so much and some players, if they are not seen to be carrying the team forward, then it can show because he is so important to us," added Baines.

"He has got a few goals this season so that shows he has added to his game and he is a massive plus for us being in the team."

With three matches of the campaign remaining it is understandable players start looking towards the summer, but with a Merseyside derby at Anfield this weekend there is no danger of that at Everton.

"The summer is always welcome, especially when you get to the end of the season and you have been involved heavily," said the England left-back.

"But you try and put it to the back of your mind, especially when you have got big games on the horizon as we have.

"You keep plugging away, giving what you have got left."

Fellow full-back Seamus Coleman said the lure of Europa League football was pushing them on.

"There is still plenty to play for, we have to just win our games and hope the teams above slip-up," he told evertontv.

"It's going to be a big week. Derbies mean a lot to the fans but it means just as much to us.

"We will be going all out to win at Anfield."


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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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