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v Swansea City

Tuesday 23 September K.O. 19:45

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Fifth Cap Delights Baines

Fifth Cap Delights Baines
Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines says assisting in England's equaliser against Switzerland was simply an added bonus after earning his fifth cap for his country.

The Blues left-back started the Euro 2012 qualifier on the bench alongside Everton team mate Phil Jagielka, and came on after 30 minutes to replace Ashley Cole who limped off with an injury.  

England were left trailing 2-1 at the break but five minutes into the second period, a smart chest down from the Blues defender straight into the feet of Ashley Young allowed the Aston Villa man to draw level. 

But Baines remained modest about his skillful assist for Young's equaliser.

"You don't expect things like that, but I try to get forward when I can and with the likes of James Milner and Ashley Young around it's just doing little things like that to help them out," said Baines. "And as you saw with Ashley's finish, he's got the quality to do the rest."

After manager Fabio Capello named a smaller squad for the Wembley clash, Baines was keen to highlight how privileged he felt to have been called-up in the first place.

"I'm pleased to get another cap and to get on the pitch," he added. "You're never sure from my situation if you're going to even be on the bench. It was a 25-man squad so you have seven top players who weren't involved today. 

"You're never quite sure where you're going to be at, so to get on was a nice plus for me."

Baines now heads off for a few weeks of well-deserved rest before returning to Everton for pre-season training in early July. 

England currently sit top of qualifying Group G but need to record strong results to guarantee their place in next year's European tournament. Baines hopes a solid pre-season with Everton will enable him to continue to play his part for his homeland. 

"The rest is important for everyone," he continued. "The season is tough and it can take a lot out of you if you are playing regularly so it's important to go away and rest, but also to look after yourself. 

"You want to come back and hit the ground running - have a good pre-season and start the season well.

"We've got a friendly in August so all those games are important because the qualifiers are massive now."

Simon LahnAshley who? Leighton Baines should be England's new starting left back.

Tuesday 7th June 16:10 Report Comment
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