• Premier League

Baines: Everton have set benchmark

ESPN staff
May 12, 2014
Leighton Baines was one of the standout players for Everton this season © Getty Images

Leighton Baines says that Everton's record Premier League points tally has set a benchmark for further progress next season.

Sunday's 2-0 victory at Hull ensured a final total of 72 points - the best that the Toffees have managed over a 38-match league season. It also represented their best return in any campaign since they won the league title with 86 points in 1986-87, when the league season consisted of 42 games.

Everton's tally this season was enough to earn them fifth place and qualification for next season's Europa League play-off round.

But having been in a strong position to qualify for the Champions League before losing three of their final five matches, Everton can improve next season, according to England left-back Baines.

"It's been a really encouraging season, with that highest points tally, and it sets a good benchmark for next season," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"We need to use that as such. It was a very controlling performance; coming away from home and dominating the vast majority of the game with a lot of possession. The goals capped it off and it was quite comfortable."

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