Leighton Baines has revealed his pride after again being voted the Premier League’s best left-back by his fellow professionals.
The 28-year-old was named in the PFA Premier League team of the year for the second season in succession at Sunday evening’s lavish awards ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel.
Baines admitted it was pleasing to be recognised in such a way but says he was surprised to be the only Everton player among the XI.
“It’s always nice to be acknowledged by your fellow professionals and it’s great to be in the PFA team amongst so many quality players,” Baines told evertonfc.com.
“I actually think that we could have had a few of our lads in there this season.
“It’s also good that most of the players in the team are the ones that I voted for. It’ll help me win a few arguments at the training ground.”
Despite his accolade, Baines insists his work for this season is still far from done.
The ever-dependable defender has played every single minute of Everton’s league campaign but knows one final push is needed in these final weeks.
“The summer is always welcome, especially when you get to the end of the season and you have been involved heavily,” continued Baines.
“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.”
Following the victory over Fulham at the weekend, attention has now swiftly turned to the forthcoming Merseyside derby at Anfield.
Even though there is extra significance placed upon Sunday’s clash with European qualification still possible for the Toffees, Baines says preparation for the game will be nothing different from the previous 35 Premier League fixtures.
“It’s just the same as always,” explained Baines. “It’s another game [even though] we understand the importance. It’s a big game but everyone is professional and prepares for the game right.
“It doesn’t warrant anything different. You do the right things when you are training and when you come away from training too, as always.”
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