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Baines: Everton are in a new era

Veteran left back talks about the changes at the Toffees

Everton v Sunderland - Premier League
Leighton Baines
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Leighton Baines is currently one of the longest serving players on the Everton squad and Ronald Koeman is the third different manager of the Toffees in that time. In an interview with Sky Sports, he spoke about the revolution that has swept through the ranks at the Toffees, starting from the new ownership all the way down to the success of the youth sides.

"We know that the ambition of the football club is there, the ambition of the manager is there and of course the players as well, so everyone is on the same page.

"We are in a new era in terms of the manager, his staff, a new owner and things like that so the club are in a really positive position at the moment.

"Ultimately, the ambitions of the football club are going to go beyond that [finishing in the top seven]. We've got to start somewhere in terms of turning things around from the last couple of seasons and we've made good progress in doing that.

"Now the club have got higher hopes and hopefully this is the start of a new era for the club.”

Baines recently made his 300th Premier League appearance for the club in a home win over Sunderland, and he spoke about Ronald Koeman’s desire to make Goodison Park a fortress again.

"One of the things we wanted to do was to be difficult to play against again. We're trying to find the good football in there as well and the results so far suggest that the formula has been pretty close to where we would want it, but there is always room to improve.

"He is demanding different things but within that, it would be things that are expected of you. It's the hard work and not only committing to your job but to each other, helping each other out and he is big on promoting the team ethic and team spirit.

"Sometimes when you're not playing the best football, those are the things that can get you over the line and get you the result, and that has been the case for us on a couple of occasions this season."

Romelu Lukaku has been on top form all season long and is one goal off Golden Boot contention in the Premier League. Here’s what the left back had to say about his teammate.

"It's season after season with Romelu. I think what he has proven is that he is a top level goalscorer in a top league in the world. He has proved that now on numerous occasions.

"He is going to guarantee you goals as long as he is fit and on the pitch. I think that is another thing he deserves a lot of credit for is the amount of football he has played for us over the last few years. We have depended on him at times and he has been there for us."

Everton v Manchester City - Premier League
Tom Davies
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Koeman has overseen a youth revolution at Everton this season, with multiple youngsters getting a chance to play in the senior squad.

"What we have got is not just a talented group of young players, it is a really good bunch of kids who are looking to make their way in football and I think they have been really refreshing," the defender said.

"It has been really good to have them around, not just on the pitch where they have to contribute and have done throughout the season but among the dressing room as well.

"We're all trying to help them along the way but they haven't needed much from us. When they have been asked to come in and do a job, they have done it and more.

"Just seeing young players being given an opportunity in a demanding league is always good because it is a hard league to make your way in. These boys have it tough so I think when we see young players breaking through, you have to be mindful that you don't ruin them in some respects, you've got to be patient with them and give them time."

Everton remain in contention for a Europa League spot this season, and Baines wants to ensure that the Blues become perennial contenders.

"The one thing we will be looking to do it make progress each year. If we can keep building on whatever we do this year, hopefully it will be European football and if we do, then next season we can go and excel in that and progress in the league.

"I think that's the aim at the moment is to just keep that progression going and if we can do that, it will take us to the right places."