Baines: Playing teams away in Europe is far harder

Everton left-back Leighton Baines believes that the Europa League match away in Kiev will be much harder than the home match at Goodison Park.

Baines points to the match away at Kharkiv in 2007 where he said the home and away games were like night and day and the squad will use that example to focus on Thursday night.

“I think it will be a tougher game than what we had at Goodison the other night”

“They had a really good 20 minutes but then seemed to take their foot off but, maybe, we should be give ourselves credit for that”, Baines told the Liverpool ECHO.

“Maybe in their league they are used to going a goal up and they’ve won the game.

“When they realised what was coming back at them, they seemed to wave the white flag and maybe they are not used to that.

“Perhaps they are only used to being in three of four hard games a season.

“But I expect it to be a tougher game over there, it always is.

“When we played Kharkiv at home, it was a one-sided, easy game.

“I was on the bench when we went over there but I had to check the team-sheet because they looked like a completely different team.

“The pitch was terrible but they were playing one-touch.

“We still talk about that game now and how it was like night and day.

“That whole campaign, when you go back and look at it, we played teams at home and blitzed them and then when we played them away from home they always seemed to be far stronger.”

“The ones who were involved in that campaign, we have spoke since about how it was strange.

“Teams would come here and it would be a little bit of a walkover, you wouldn’t have to get out of third gear but you’d go over there and they’d have a right go, so I am expecting the same in Kiev.”

“It would be massive and there would be some big names in the hat so we are desperate to a part of the draw and be in the mix,” Baines said.

“There are some real good teams left in the competition.

“We know we have a big task in front of us and it is really in the balance with them having the away goal but I fancy us.

“The likes of Young Boys, committing themselves forward, allowed us to hit them on the counter with the power and pace we have with players such as Rom, Ross and Arouna.

“I fancy us to be given opportunities to do that again because Kiev will come and have a go.”


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