Baines: Europe Gives Us Chance To Move On

Everton have the perfect opportunity to move on from the disappointment of the defeat to Tottenham when they take on Atalanta in the Europa League.

A Harry Kane-inspired Spurs left Goodison Park with the points on Saturday in a 3-0 win but such is the Blues’ fixture schedule they have a chance to get back on track for their group stage opener on Thursday night.

And Leighton Baines insists the squad are itching to do just that and are putting in the work to ensure they are prepared to return to winning ways in Italy.

“It is an opportunity for us to move on and move forward,” Baines told “It was far from what we want at the weekend but we get a short window now to address it, then analyse and prepare for the next one. That’s what we are doing now.

“It is a different kind of test. Games in Europe always have a different feel. We have started our preparations now and on Tuesday we will get more of an idea of what kind of side Atalanta are. We’ll do our homework and make sure we look at their system and the players that they have got.”

Atalanta finished fourth in Serie A last season in order to qualify for the Europa League, meaning they will present a tough challenge for the Toffees.

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Leighton Baines tackles Antonio Candreva during the World Cup Group D meeting with Italy in 2014.

But Baines is no stranger to facing Italian sides – he was in the England Under-21 side team faced their Azzurri counterparts in the first game at the new Wembley stadium, and also faced Italy at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, having stepped up to the senior Three Lions squad.

But that won’t detract from the task at hand – kicking off the group stage with three valuable points on the board.

“I have played against Italy a few times with England, including once at the World Cup,” he added. “But you treat each side differently, even the international sides. There can be different players and different managers.

“But we will know more about what to expect in the coming days, as we continue our preparations.

“It is a chance to lay down a marker in the group stage, and that is obviously something we would like to do. It would be a big three points if we could do that.

“We would like to win all the games but we know that in Europe, particularly away from home, it will be tough. But it is a game we feel like we can go and win.”