Baines staying on his toes

, 24 May, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Leighton Baines may have finally emerged from Ashley Cole's shadow 10 days ago when the Chelsea defender called time on his international career after being dropped from the England World Cup squad but as he prepares for the World Cup next month, Everton's left back is all too aware of the challenge now posed by Luke Shaw.

Baines is flattered by the "great vote of confidence" he received in being listed as Roy Hodgson's first-choice left back for the Finals in Brazil but knows he has to be at his best to command the starting role as England look to erase the memories of their disappointments in South Africa four years ago and at Euro2012.

"I cannot allow myself to believe," Baines says. "You have to keep on your toes and not get complacent because if you don't do the right things then you are not going to be playing. Things can change very quickly so I think whoever starts the first game in the tournament has to do the job otherwise they are not going to stay in the team."

He believes his understudy, Shaw, has a long future ahead of him at international level, though.

"Luke has been amazing," Baines continues. "Luke and some of the other younger lads have been great for English football. Luke is one of the ones who is now at the forefront of the squad. How old is he now? 18? He has an amazing future in front of him. He is going to be an England international for the next 12-15 years."

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