LEIGHTON BAINES has sympathised with Everton’s frustrated fans and admitted “we can’t imagine what we’re doing to them!”
The Blues bounced back from the shock home defeat by West Bromwich Albion to claim a deserved point at champions Chelsea on Saturday, in a match where the visitors looked the likelier winners. And that inconsistency has been mirrored all season with impressive displays like the storming comeback against Manchester United followed by a flat home performance against Newcastle.
Baines is one of the few Blues’ stars to have performed superbly all season – Saturday’s cross was the eighth time he has been directly involved in creating an Everton goal this season – but he deflected the praise and insisted the side must start to find some consistency.
“We are just desperate to start getting results. No more excuses or reasoning with it, it is time to start producing,” he declared.
“I am pleased enough with my form personally but it is about what the team is doing. Each and every one of us is desperate to put a run together. We are frustrating ourselves so we can’t imagine what we are doing to the fans.
“The boss is probably a bit frustrated at the moment but he knows he has got a good group of players here and we are trying to put things right – hopefully we can now do that sooner rather than later.”
Phil Neville, meanwhile, has hailed pointsaver Jermaine Beckford as Everton’s natural born finisher.
And the Blues skipper believes that Saturday’s goalscorer is “something special.”
Beckford has endured a mixed start to his top flight career – scoring two late goals to earn points against Bolton and Chelsea, but attracting criticism for missing chances against Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion.
But Neville is insistent that Beckford will come good at Goodison Park.
“He’s got something special,” he declared. “He’s got that knack of being in the right place at the right time,
“He’s got something you can’t practice – you’re just born with it. He’s got a goalscorer’s instinct and he’ll score goals for us, I’m sure of that.
“The manager is giving him time and he’s coming off the bench and at the moment he’s proving a real threat for us.
“When you come off the bench and create two or three chances every time you play it’s going to come good for you.”
Tomorrow night’s FA Youth Cup tie against Wolves, meanwhile, is already in doubt with the pitch at the Halton Stadium, Widnes, still affected by the cold weather.
The original tie, scheduled for Tuesday last week, was postponed as the pitch was frozen.
Now the rearranged tie could go the same way with an inspection set to take place at midday.
Finally, reports last night suggested that Harry Redknapp is convinced Steven Pienaar will be a Tottenham player next season after being assured the Everton midfielder has made up his mind on a move to White Hart Lane.
Tottenham believe they have won the race for the South African’s signature and hope he will join them for a nominal fee in the January transfer window or for nothing when his contract runs out at the end of the season.