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Apr 17, 2013

Baines: Everton spirit is key

Leighton Baines has put Everton's push for a top four finish down to the team's "work-rate, togetherness and spirit".

• Brewin: Everton fall short
• O'Farrell: Plenty of positives

David Moyes has kept his side competitive at the top end of the Premier League despite working with fewer resources than many of Everton's direct rivals.

A goalless draw at Arsenal on Monday night left the Toffees two points behind Tottenham and Chelsea, albeit having played more matches. Baines believes if they can retain that level of performance then they can remain in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

"We have taken points off a lot of the teams who will finish in the Champions League positions. I don't think anyone will particularly enjoy playing against us at any level," he said.

"You look at it and how we have played away from home against a top team like Arsenal, then against the other top sides we have had good results at home.

"We have got a little bit of everything - the work-rate, togetherness and spirit is inspirational at times. Playing with this group of players I sometimes find I look around and I can't believe what some of them are doing.

"The effort they are putting in... people go above and beyond. They are playing with injuries and it really is inspirational at times just to see that - mix it in with our quality and we can't be a good team to face for any side."

Arsene Wenger singled out Everton's physical approach for criticism after seeing his side fail to break down the Toffees, but Baines has denied going out to spoil the game as a spectacle and defended the Merseysiders' style.

"We know they are a good passing team, but we did not speak about physically disrupting them in terms of getting stuck in," he said.

"Whoever we play will know they are in for a physical game. The work-rate the players put in was there to be seen. We are talking about keeping in touching distance. We will just try to keep ourselves in the mix."

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