Baines reveals Everton's Europa League aims - 'You've got to think big'

Leighton Baines

Everton star Leighton Baines says that the Toffees are aiming to go all the way in this season's Europa League.

Leighton Baines has revealed that Everton are aiming to reach the final of the Europa League this season. 

The Toffees open their European campaign with a tough match against Wolfsburg on Thursday night, but Baines believes that they have the quality needed to go all the way in the competition. 

He told the club's official site: "We’ve got to think big. It’s a long competition but you want to get to the final of every cup competition you’re in and ultimately win them. That’s the aim.

“You want to qualify from the group and go as far as you can, and you want the big nights at Goodison or wherever it is along the way.”

There has been a criticism of English sides who value a solid Premier League campaign over a run in Europe, but there appears no such worries with Goodison. 

Manager Roberto Martinez also confirmed his desire to a lengthy run in the tournament today and it is a refreshing stance for a side to take. 

Although the duration of Europe's secondary competition does run for a long time, it can also be a momentum builder rather than the distraction that it is often viewed as and Everton will be hoping to use it as exactly that in midweek.

The side have started the season in average form and have picked up just win from their first four league fixtures, against West Bromwich Albion, but a victory in midweek would certainly lift the side. 

Everton have raised the bar of expectations after a fine performance last campaign, where they climbed to fifth in the table, and the task for them, domestically, will be to repeat that finish this year. 

They certainly have enough quality in the squad capable to do just that, but there are a number of teams who will be vying to move up the table with them. 

Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United occupied the spots behind Everton last year, but both look much stronger for this season and holding them off will be a test for Martinez's side.

If they are to do so, Baines will be key. The left-back has emerged as one of the club's biggest stars in recent seasons and he will need to keep up his fine form if the Blues are to prove they are 'moving to another level' as the England intentional says they are. 

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