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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Pair Can Cope With Extra Attention

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Steven Pienaar insists he and Leighton Baines are ready to adapt to the increased amount of attention they are receiving from Everton's opposition.

After starting the season in scintillating form, the Blues' left-sided pairing have become the focus of teams' defensive tactics as managers try to shut down one of Everton's primary attacking threats.

But Pienaar says he and Baines will never stop trying new things when it comes to unlocking defences.

“It is hard but we just have to keep going and going, simple as that,” said Pienaar.

“Sometimes the opposition’s plan will work for 80 minutes but then there might be one slip-up and we get through and create something.

“We’ll always keep going no matter how many players the opposition put on our side of the field.

“We try to make sure we keep our composure and don’t get frustrated.

Pienaar is acutely aware that when teams do operate special plans on his side of the pitch, it can leave spaces elsewhere.

That could be a real opportunity for the Blues now that Kevin Mirallas is back operating on the opposite flank.

“Sometimes we ask the assistant manager to have a look at how it can work for us before a game,” Pienaar added.

“Some teams overload the left hand side and the manager will look to try to find a way to get out of that and use it to our advantage.

“That’s why it’s also important that we have the likes of Seamus Coleman and Kevin Mirallas fit who can bring us a lot of attacking threat for the team.”

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