Baines: Swans Draw Can Be Platform For Strong Finish

Leighton Baines wants Everton to use their point at Swansea City as the springboard for a winning finish to the campaign.

The Toffees led in south Wales after home defender Kyle Naughton turned into his own net two minutes before half-time, only to be pegged back when Jordan Ayew thumped home 19 minutes from the end.

Baines admitted Everton would have “liked to have performed better” against Carlos Carvalhal's in-form team but was nevertheless frustrated his side did not claim all three points from the Liberty Stadium.

The visitors were the width of the crossbar from securing victory when Seamus Coleman smacked the woodwork after bursting into the box to meet a Cenk Tosun delivery following Ayew’s strike.

Everton’s draw against a Swansea team that had won its past four Premier League matches on home turf sees them close to within one point of Leicester City in eighth spot.

“It was a tough game and we knew it would be coming away to a team fighting to stay in the league,” said Baines.

“We were happy to get a goal ahead after riding out some early pressure but we could not withstand it in the second half.

“We did not play enough stuff to keep them off which invited a bit of pressure and they got a goal they might feel they deserved. We were close to nicking it but Swansea will probably feel they deserved a point.

“If you look at their home record and the teams they have beaten on their own ground we were more than aware of the challenge in front of us. But we would still like to have performed better.”

Baines was playing his fifth match on the bounce at Swansea after returning from a calf problem which had sidelined him for more than three months.

The left-back, along with fit-again Coleman, captain Phil Jagielka and the excellent Michael Keane was part of a resilient Toffees back four, which has recorded two shutouts in its past five games.

And with Newcastle United next up at Goodison Park – where the Blues have claimed 24 points from the past 36 available – Baines is confident Everton can gather some momentum in the run in.

Relegation threatened Southampton are still to come to Goodison, with that match sandwiched by trips to Huddersfield Town and West Ham United.

“With our home form we always fancy ourselves and we will be going out against Newcastle to win that game," said Baines, whose team host the Magpies a week on Monday. "Then we have some games which will be similar to this one, against teams fighting to stay up, but they are all opportunities for us to win matches and finish the season well, which is important.

“There are very few games left but what we do can still have an impact on the perception of the season. We would like to win all the games – and they are all games we feel we are capable of winning.

“It [Everton’s defence] has been a bit disrupted with injuries and changes in personnel but it has settled a bit in the past few months and we have kept a few clean sheets and conceded fewer goals.”

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