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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Leighton Baines praised Everton's strength of character after the Blues twice came from behind to earn a point at Wigan.

The left-back was the hero for his side, netting an emphatic 87th-minute penalty to ensure a deserved share of the spoils.

That was after Nikica Jelavic had earlier cancelled out Arouna Kone's controversial opener, only to see Franco Di Santo restore Wigan's lead.

"If you want to stay up near the top end of the league you've got to keep taking points when maybe you're not at your best and it was important that we took a point," said Baines. "It shows that we've got character.

“There will have been times maybe in the last few seasons where we may not have come away with anything, so it's a decent point in the end."

A tricky first half led manager David Moyes to make changes at the break with Sylvain Distin replacing John Heitinga at the back and Kevin Mirallas pushing further forward to join Jelavic in attack.

"We weren't quite up to scratch in the first half and we knew we had to get back up to where we've been in recent weeks and I think we did that," said Baines. "I thought we were the better team in the second half and we came away with a point in the end. We would've liked more but I thought Wigan did really well as well."

In scoring against his former employers, Baines repeated a feat he had twice managed before, his penalty prowess having defeated the Latics at Goodison in 2009 and salvaged another late away draw in 2011.

"It's not the first time," he added. "I've taken three penalties now against Wigan and I think they've all been in the dying stages of the game.

"I know [Ali] Al-Habsi is really good at saving penalties so you've got to be near the top corners to beat him, and thankfully I was."

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EvertonLive

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  • Today, 12:36

    INJURY UPDATE: Baines to be assessed today ahead of #STOvEFC. Atsu to return to training on Friday. evertonfc.com/news/2015/03/0… #EFC

  • Today, 12:28

    RM: "I think Luke Garbutt showed against Arsenal the level of form he is at. We have a lot of quality and depth at left-back." #STOvEFC

  • Today, 12:27

    RM: It's been a learning curve for the demands of Europe and how they affect the league. It will really help our young players in the squad

  • Today, 12:25

    RM: "This game is a pivotal one. The final third of the season is here and we now have to treat each game as a final." #STOvEFC