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The Toe Poke

No room for sentiment, says Baines

Leighton Baines has pledged to put sentiment to one side as he bids to help send Everton into the international break on a high.

Baines, 27, travels to the DW Stadium for a Premier League meeting with his former club Wigan, where he took his first steps in professional football, on Saturday.

Baines, whose brother still goes to watch Wigan regularly, said he retains affection for the club he left to move to Goodison Park in 2007 - but the England left-back wants to ensure Everton maintain the start that sees them second in the Premier League.

David Moyes' side went into last month's international break on the back of a 2-0 defeat at West Brom, the only match they have lost in the league this season, and Baines is keen to avoid a repeat.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "It's the last game before the break, and it's one you want to win and then go away on a high.

"Before the last one [international break], we got beaten by West Brom, and we don't want to go away with that feeling again. "Wigan is always a club I have an affiliation for. My family feel the same way, and my brother will go and watch Wigan if they're at home when Everton are away."

Baines is in the England squad to face San Marino and Poland in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers, and said: "I've been trying to keep my form up at club level in between the international games, and in the main I've felt I've done that.

"All you can do is the best for your club, and that's what I've been trying to do."


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