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Baines Backs Blues In 2013

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Leighton Baines believes Evertonians will have plenty to shout about at the end of the season – providing they can carry the form of 2012 into the new year.

Despite Sunday’s narrow defeat against Chelsea, the Blues have enjoyed a record breaking 12 months, with the Club tallying its highest number of points in a calendar year since the formation of the Premier League two decades ago.

Impressively, 33 of the 68 points recorded in 2012 have come from the opening half of this campaign, leaving David Moyes’ side well-placed in sixth position at just past the halfway stage.

And with Everton traditionally enjoying strong finishes to a season, Baines is confident that 2013 can develop into a prosperous year for the Club.

“It’s been a great year,” Baines told evertontv.

“We’ve done really well and the disappointing thing is that we had the chances [against Chelsea]. Even at the death there were a couple of chances to save a point which would have kept us in there.

“We will pick ourselves up, there is a quick turnaround and we will go to Newcastle and try to win there.”

The left-back continued: “If we can have a second half of the season like we have in the past few years I think everyone would be happy with that.

“The goal is to emulate what we have done in recent seasons and if we do we won’t be too far off where we want to be.

“A point today would have kept the gap between ourselves and Chelsea a bit smaller but we know it is not beyond us to go to grounds, win games and push on in the second half of the season.

“If we can do what we have done in the last few seasons, we will be right in the mix.”

Everton’s seven-match unbeaten run came to an end following the 2-1 loss against Chelsea, but Baines says the squad can be particularly proud of their efforts over the course of the last month-and-a-half.

The Blues have taken points from matches against Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Stoke City, West Ham United and Wigan Athletic despite the absence of several first team regulars.

Boss Moyes was unable to call upon six senior members of his group on Sunday, including skipper Phil Neville, yet the European Champions were still taken to the wire.

“We haven’t got the biggest squad in terms of rotation and it didn’t help with us missing big players. But we put a performance in without the likes of Felli [Fellaini], Gibbo [Gibson], Kevin [Mirallas], Seamus [Coleman] and Hibbo [Hibbert],” added Baines.

“We are missing some really important players and it just goes to show the effort the lads are putting in.

“We have played against the top sides and have got results. Today we didn’t, but we were probably the better team and created the better chances. We are disappointed to come away with nothing.”

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