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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Baines hopes Everton have turned a corner

EVERTON defender Leighton Baines admitted a clean sheet was almost as important as their first home Barclays Premier League win of the season after a catalogue of defensive errors left the players scratching their heads.

The England left-back provided assists for the first and last goals, scored by Phil Jagielka and Seamus Coleman, in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa as the Toffees recorded only their second shut-out in 11 matches across all competitions. Injuries to key defensive personnel has not helped, but throwing away leads in particular has cost them at least four points, which would have put them within touching distance of the top four.

A second league win has lifted them into mid-table and Baines is looking for more defensive stability in the future as they look to put the errors behind them.

"We have conceded some strange goals this season and I am not sure, if you look at it, we have given up many more chances than we would usually, but for some reason we have been conceding," he said.

"You go away and look at all the stats and analyse things and it is just fine margins in football.

"It was nice to get back to normal and keeping a clean sheet is something we will look to replicate in the next few games."

"When you are bossing games you have to score goals, because the longer teams stay in it the more chance you have got of them nicking the goal and then they can sit in and defend," he added.

"We got our goals at important times against Villa to finish the game off and we were in control.

"Rom was great for us last season and has a really impressive goalscoring record in his time over here so we know goals aren't a problem, we just have to keep giving him opportunities.

"He is a goalscorer and he can score all different types of goals."

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