Leighton Baines hopes Everton form will lead to England starting spot
Everton left-back Leighton Baines says he hopes his impressive club form will leading to an England starting spot
Leighton Baines has revealed he hopes his Everton performances will help him win a starting spot in Roy Hodgson’s England team.
The Everton left-back was particularly impressive in a 2-2 draw with Wigan Athletic on Saturday, scoring a late equaliser from the penalty spot at the DW Stadium.
The 27-year-old has been limited to just 11 England caps to date, with the Toffees defender finding himself behind first-choice Three Lions left-back Ashley Cole for the majority of his career.
“I’ve been trying to keep my form up at club level between the two international breaks,” said Baines.
“The competition for places is just the way it is. It’s something you just have to accept.
“You respect the players in the squad and the others players who are in your position that much that you know you may not play.
“All you can always do is do the best you can for your club and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”
Meanwhile, Hodgson emphasised Cole’s importance to England after the defender apologised for a foul-mouthed rant on Twitter aimed at the FA last week.
“I think the important matter for me was that the situation got resolved between the Football Association and Ashley himself,” said Hodgson.
“He’s made it very clear he regretted it, he did it in anger, he immediately tried to rectify his mistake, he certainly publicly apologised for it.
“We’re talking about a man who’s played 98 times and has hardly ever missed a game for England when he’s been fit.
“He’s been regarded for many years as the best left-back in the world and no one who is fair minded could ever criticise Ashley’s commitment to the England shirt.
“As a result his contrition is the greater because he realises that to some extent he might have put his position in jeopardy and I’m very happy that he hasn’t done that.”