Leighton Baines has insisted he is ready to 'get my teeth' into the final eight games of the season after the Everton stalwart made his comeback from a calf injury.
Baines had spent the last three-and-a-half months on the treatment table with the problem he sustained in the November loss at Southampton, but made his first appearance under Sam Allardyce in last Saturday's 2-0 win over Brighton.
The veteran left-back spoke to the Blues' official site in the aftermath of that win and explained how he had felt no ill effects from his first run out since the 4-1 defeat to the Saints, despite playing the full 90 minutes at Goodison Park.
Baines said: “I had no problems. It was a great game to come back into and get a bit of extra fitness. You cannot get that anywhere else.
“You are never sure when you come back in – until you get into a proper game – what your fitness levels will be like.
“But I felt quite comfortable. I had the experience to look after myself and when the onus is on us to go and win the game – we have so many attacking players in the team – to assess those moments when we are going forward and I can potentially join in.
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“I am pleased to be back and looking forward to getting my teeth into the tail end of the season.”
Gaetan Bong's own goal finally ended the Seagulls' resistance in a match Everton had dominated for an hour before their breakthrough.
Cenk Tosun also notched his first Toffees goal on home soil since his January transfer from Besiktas - a strike set up by Baines after the 33-year-old had played a succinct one-two with the forward.
And Baines added that he was delighted to see the Turkey international notch his second goal in as many matches as he revealed how the 26-year-old was now settled into his new way of life.
Baines said: “I thought he was brilliant. He did all the ugly things really well, he gave us a good focal point and brought other people into the game.
“I thought his all-round play was great and he deserved his goal. He gives us a lot on the pitch and has settled into the dressing room really well. He is a good lad, has a great character and I think you can see that on the pitch.
“He looks comfortable, he looks at home and he is up and running with his goals now. That is great for us."