Baines a true blue
Leighton Baines has pledged his allegiances to the blue side of Merseyside claiming it would be 'unthinkable' for him to ever join Liverpool.
Last Updated: 01/10/11 12:11pm
Everton defender Leighton Baines has pledged his allegiances to the blue side of Merseyside claiming it would be 'unthinkable' for him to ever join Liverpool.
The two teams meet today for the 216th time and Everton could leapfrog their rivals with a home win.
Boyhood Liverpudlian Baines was linked with a move to Anfield last summer but quickly squashed the rumours and 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 told The Telegraph.
"Obviously I was made aware of the stories but as far as I'm concerned it wouldn't have got beyond that. 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. As far as I am concerned it was never an option.
"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."
Liverpool have spent big this summer widening the financial gulf from their neighbours but Baines has said the derby is a chance to show the on the field they can compete.
"There must be a big buzz around if you are making marquee signings and bringing in great players but we haven't been able to do that for a while," said Baines.
"Hopefully somewhere along the line the tide will turn a little bit. But it doesn't always guarantee you success either. You make the comparisons on spending - not just by Liverpool but others, and not just this summer but previous ones - and generally we have still managed to finish amongst that group.
"People say we constantly punch above our weight but it doesn't feel that way because we have players who others want to pay good money for but mainly we have managed to hang onto them. A win today will put us above Liverpool, after all.