Baines Joins Elite Band
Defender one of only six men to manage two complete seasons.
On the back of being crowned the Club's Player of the Season for the second time in three years, Leighton Baines chalked up another notable achievement on Sunday in playing the full 90 minutes of Everton's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.
In fighting through to the full-time whistle, the left-back became only the sixth player to complete every single minute of a Premier League season twice.
Baines had previously managed the feat in 2010/11, another campaign in which he scooped the main prize at the Toffees' prestigious End of Season Awards.
But prior to Sunday only five men - Wayne Bridge, Gary McAllister, Gary Pallister, Gareth Southgate and Baines' Blues cohort Sylvain Distin - had done so on two separate occasions.
The 28-year-old now joins that elite band - an accomplishment he says is down to rest, discipline and good luck.
"It's a tough league and it does become a long old season once you get through the Christmas period and into February, it does start to catch up with you a bit," Baines said in an exclusive interview with evertontv. "It's about living right then, taking your rest if you get it and doing all the right things off the pitch to try to keep you in a position where you can keep getting out there on the pitch.
"You work hard every day when you come in, you trust the physios and the things they tell you to do; the fitness coaches, I try to abide by the rules that they set.
"And you get the results in the end and I managed to stay fit. There's obviously a luck element as well, steering clear of bad tackles or whatever.
"But it's a nice little achievement. These little things are always nice."
A good week for Baines was dampened only by Everton's failure to cap the season with a win in what was David Moyes' final game in charge.
Level at the break after Steven Naismith had cancelled out Juan Mata's early opener, substitute Nikica Jelavic passed up a golden chance to put the Blues ahead just moments before Fernando Torres struck a 76th-minute winner.
"It's football and the way it goes," said Baines. "If we'd gone ahead in the game we would have tried to see it out. Unfortunately in football, it sometimes kicks you in the teeth when teams go up the other end and score.
"It was probably a good game to watch. There were lulls in it at times but when it picked up both teams went for it and went for the win.
"There were times when the tempo dropped a bit, typical of an end of season game really. We were just disappointed we couldn't get something from the game."