Everton’s strong League Cup run can act as the perfect platform for the club to build on their Premier League form and fight for European positions, left back Leighton Baines has said.
Baines, who underwent two ankle operations, made his first competitive appearance since early May in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over second tier side Middlesbrough in the quarter-final of the League Cup.
“We’re excited about where we are at the moment and we’re looking forward,” Baines told the club’s website (www.evertonfc.com).
“This (League Cup) run is something we’re all excited about… There are no easy rides and we are prepared for that.
“We’re not far off from where we want to be in the league as well. We’ve a few good results away from getting back in the mix for the European positions and there’s no better time to hit form than now over the Christmas period.”
The Merseyside club have been handed a tough task in the League Cup semi-final against Manchester City but midfielder Tom Cleverley is confident that Everton can win the cup.
“You have got to be confident going into a semi-final,” Cleverley told the Liverpool Echo.
“We’re a hungry, young and enthusiastic squad who want to win things. We see this as an opportunity and we will be giving it everything.
“Let’s hope we make it to the final. You want those trophies and from my experience last year, with Aston Villa I know that momentum in the cups can lift the whole club and help your league form.”
The Toffees, who are ninth in the league table, host seventh-placed Crystal Palace on Monday.