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Baines happy to silence homesickness rumours
Everton left-back Leighton Baines is keen to put speculation about issues with homesickness to bed after being selected in the England squad for the European Championship.
Baines was named as understudy to Ashley Cole in Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad for the forthcoming tournament in Poland and Ukraine on Wednesday, two years after being left out of Fabio Capello's World Cup squad in favour of Stephen Warnock amid suggestions that the 27-year-old was uncomfortable spending extended periods of time away from his family.
After another productive season with the Toffees Baines is happy to put those inaccurate reports to bed and hopes to be a valuable servant in Hodgson's setup during his first senior international tournament.
"Hopefully this puts all that nonsense [about homesickness] to bed and we can move on from that," Baines said. "Because there was stuff that was said around that time that was really taken out of context. It will be nice to put that to bed.
"It's one of those things that gets hyped up around tournament time when people are looking for news, I suppose.
"People who are gullible enough to believe everything they read, that's up to them.
"That summer I spent three weeks with Everton in Australia. I'd have much rather of spent those three or four weeks at a World Cup. It wasn't to be.
"But, as I say, if [homesickness] was ever an issue, I wouldn't have been away with the club that long."
Baines has received glowing reports about Hodgson's managerial style, and is looking forward to working with him.
"Everything you hear, everyone in football has only got good things to say about Roy Hodgson," he added. "Our manager [David Moyes] spoke really highly of him as well to me and Phil Jagielka [who is on the stand-by list] and said what a really good manager he is and not only that, but what a really good guy he is as well.
"I'm looking forward to getting to know him and working with him.
"Getting that good preparation, a couple of friendlies, some good training and getting what's necessary out of the next couple of weeks is what's important now.
"Then, after that, we'll just be fully focused on trying to keep a fully fit squad to take into the competition and we'll be well prepared by then and ready to have a go at it."