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

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Leighton Baines has paid a heartfelt tribute to Evertonians - branding the Blues' support during 2013/14 'unbelievable'.

Roberto Martinez's men completed their record-breaking Premier League campaign with a 21st top-flight victory of the season at Hull City on Sunday.

Despite a fifth-placed finish being all but assured even before kick off, the players were greeted by a packed away end at the KC Stadium as goals from James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku sealed a 2-0 win.

And with Goodison Park having also witnessed a record nine sell-outs this term, Baines told evertontv: "The support was first class, not just today but throughout the whole season, and I wanted to make a point of that.

"At Goodison there have been some great games and some great atmospheres generated, and the travelling support we get every week is unbelievable.

"It's important to know that it doesn't go unappreciated and unnoticed by the lads. We've just mentioned it again in the dressing room, what a great following we've had.

"It's important we thank the fans for that because it's time and it's money that people spend coming to watch us, and it certainly doesn't go unappreciated."

Sunday's victory was an eighth on the road this season and moved the Blues to a closing total of 72 points - seven better than the previous best set in 2007/08.

"It was very important to finish with a win," added Baines. "There was nothing riding on it in terms of moving positionally but we wanted to finish on a win.

"We'd lost the last couple of games, so we wanted to make sure we didn't lose three on the bounce and I think the lads put in a good shift on the day."

McCarthy's ninth-minute opener saw him end an impressive first year at Goodison Park with a first Everton goal and Baines continued: "It was great for James. He's been unbelievable and had a great season for us.

“He’s been a great signing and he's well loved in the dressing room among the lads. I think it was great for him to cap off a great season with a goal."

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