Baines proud but disappointed

, 9 March, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent

Leighton Baines says that he was happy to lead Everton out as captain at the Emirates yesterday but also expresses his disappointment at the result which saw the Blues go out of the FA Cup at the quarter final stage.

Baines was handed the skipper's armband due to Phil Jagielka's absence through injury and Roberto Martinez's decision to start Leon Osman on the bench.

It was great to be asked to take the team out, Baines tells evertontv. The manager informed me before kick-off and it was a nice moment.

But I was more focused on the result... and we are bitterly disappointed with the outcome. We came here in a positive frame of mind and looking to win the game.

Like his manager, the left back feels that the scoreline was a harsh reflection of the pattern of the game, though.

We were in the game for long periods," Baines continues. I thought Arsenal were definitely the better team in the early parts but we stayed in the game, showed character and went in at half-time level.

We knew we would do better in the second half and we did. We had a few half-chances and the belief was beginning to grow but unfortunately Arsenal went up the other end, got a couple of goals and killed the game off.

Baines later explains to the Liverpool Echo that the Blues won't be back-tracking on their new-found expansive, attacking approach to the game which has been attributed to greater vulnerability to the counter-attack, as demonstrated at the Emirates yesterday and at Anfield in the recent derby disaster.

"The nature of our play is that we are a bit expansive at times but it's something we don't want to compromise on," he says. "We just want to get better at it, and ultimately that will lead us to getting better results. We're sticking to our guns and our style. We're buying into it and trying to improve every day. It's got to be a collective thing.

Both he and Martinez have now turned their attentions back to the Premier League and are looking to finish as strongly as possible where a top-six finish would secure a place in Europe.

We've got a couple of home games coming up that we are capable of winning and know we must win in terms of having a push at the back end of the season with just the league to focus on.

Hopefully those two games are the platform we can build on, Baines concludes.

Martinez is of a similar opinion, saying: It's an important time in our season. We can focus on the league and we have 33 points to fight for.

Once we get the Crystal Palace game rearranged there will be six fixtures at home, so it's an important moment in our campaign. We have to make sure we finish as strong as we can.

Quotes sourced from

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