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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Baines: Points All That Matter

@Everton

Leighton Baines was more satisfied with the points than the plaudits following his match-winning two-goal salvo against West Bromwich Albion.

The left-back netted for the sixth and seventh time this season to help put Everton one point behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who could only muster a draw at Norwich City.

Baines was described as a 'special player' and ‘manager’s dream’ by David Moyes in his post-match assessment.

But the 28-year-old said Everton's tenth league win of the season was all that mattered.

“That [the win] is the most important thing,” Baines told evertontv. “The second goal was important and we deserved it because in the first half we had pretty much all the play. We knew we needed the second goal and the unfortunate thing is that we gave up a bit of a soft one.

“West Brom fought really hard like we knew they would. We knew they had to come out and offer a bit more in the second half of the game.

“If there’s any slight twinge of disappointment it’s that we didn’t steady the ship and go and score another goal, but we have won the game and can’t complain.”

Baines sent the Blues on their way just before the half-hour mark, rifling an unstoppable shot past Ben Foster.

“I was coming forward and there didn’t seem like there was many options on,” Baines said of his 20-yard opener. “I would normally look for a pass or cross but decided to take the shot on. Fortunately enough it went in.”

The former Wigan man scored his second of the game in easier circumstances, converting the 12th penalty of his Everton career in first-half stoppage time.

Baines continued: “It’s important to have a variation and be able to mix it up in different ways. It gives you a better chance and keeps the keepers guessing. He [Foster] went the wrong way and it was good to see it go in.”

A quick turnaround sees Everton return to Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon with struggling Aston Villa the visitors to Merseyside.

It has been four years since David Moyes’ team beat the Villains on home soil and Baines insists that sequence must be corrected if Everton are to pile more pressure on Tottenham and Chelsea.

The former Wigan man added: “It’s important that we keep winning games and picking up points in the right places, keep hanging on to the teams above us and close the gap. Also it will be nice to get a bit of distance from the teams below us.

“What we want is a good, exciting end to the season where we are competing and are in the mix. We are in a good position and are still in the cup, so it’s all still to play for.”


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