Sunday 18 February 2018

I'd never cross Liverpool's great divide, insists Baines

Chris Bascombe

Everton defender Leighton Baines has stoked up the heat ahead of today's Merseyside derby by claiming he would never consider joining Liverpool.

A boyhood Liverpool fan, Baines was courted by Kenny Dalglish last summer but committed himself to Goodison Park.

"When you're from Liverpool, it's either Liverpool or Everton, one and not the other. You do one but you don't do both and that's that," Baines said.

"It was never an option. You are one and you stick with that. You understand it more if you're brought up in the area and know what it means to everyone.

"You'll get some who go between the clubs, people from outside the area, but once you know the people and you're a part of it, it's not something you do.

"Even now my family is still split. There has been no crossover to Everton in my family. They still want Liverpool to win. The only one who has come across is my dad, who was a Red and now supports Everton because of me.

"I don't know if he still slyly roots for them but he comes to every home game and a lot of the away games.

"I'll probably get him slaughtered by his mates for saying that now. For all I know he might still leg it down the boozer with a Liverpool scarf on when they're on the telly."

Meanwhile, Everton manager David Moyes admitted he was left dejected by his neighbours' summer spending spree, having thought the financial gap was closing last season.

"You do feel deflated at first," Moyes said.

"I was interested in Charlie Adam but couldn't afford him. It was the same with Craig Bellamy. It's a big challenge for us to get up to Liverpool because they have a lot of things going in their favour.

"I don't think we feel in any way behind, but the finances show that Liverpool are able to spend greater than Everton."(© The Daily Telegraph)

Irish Independent

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