Everton defender Leighton Baines insists he'll fight for his place following new deal
The 34-year-old is preparing for his 13th season at the club
Last Updated: 20/06/19 2:29pm
Leighton Baines insists he will fight for a starting role at Everton next season after signing a new one-year contract at Goodison Park.
The veteran left-back made just eight appearances last season as Lucas Digne, the £18m signing from Barcelona, quickly established himself as Marco Silva's preferred left-back.
Baines signed a new deal on Wednesday and although he admits he's still adapting to the role of back-up, he intends to continue to push the Frenchman for his place.
"It is a new challenge for me in terms of the fact I have not played as much football as I have been used to," he said.
"But I have also not lost sight of the fact I have been very lucky to play the amount of football I have during my career. I appreciate what I have had and will keep working for whatever I can get.
"I take my responsibilities seriously. And whether I am in the starting eleven or not, I am going to do the same things day in, day out, in case I am called upon.
"But working under the manager and in those new circumstances has been good. It is never completely smooth sailing and you never expect it to be in a job like this."
Baines is third on Everton's list of all-time Premier League appearances with 340 but on last season's evidence he is unlikely to surpass former goalkeeper Tim Howard's record of 354.
Despite this, the work manager Silva did in his first season at the club - and also that of director of football Marcel Brands - has persuaded the former England international to stay on at the club he joined in 2007.
"It was always in my mind to stay because of talks I've had with the manager and Marcel," he added.
"I have had numerous conversations with Marcel and I spent more time with him and got to know more about him towards the back end of last season and during the off-season.
"And I became more and more impressed with him from having that one-on-one time and understanding his vision and the direction he's trying to take the club.
"That gives you more optimism about where the club is headed."