Leighton Baines plays down significance of Spurs clash

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Leighton Baines insists that Everton's prospects of a top-four finish will not be decided by their meeting with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

The Everton defender has dismissed reports that Sunday’s clash with Spurs will be make-or-break for his team’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

The Toffees are currently four points off fourth sport in the Premier League table, but Baines believes that his team-mates will 'give everything' to reach the Champions League and that his side’s chances of this will not end if they lose Sunday.

"It's a big game but there are plenty more after that and it won't be decided by next weekend," Baines told the Liverpool Echo. "We are the ones who are trailing and that probably means we are the least favourite of the teams but we are fighters.

With eight games to go, third-placed Spurs are seven points better off than the Merseyside club, and so Baines knows that his side will have to be in top form if they are going to get a result at the weekend.

He added: "We won't stop believing and we will give everything we have got, as we did last week (against Manchester City) and today.

"If we can win a few more games and get close to the end of the season, that's where we want to be. It's a very big game now (Spurs next week) and an opportunity for us to catch them or for them to get a bit of distance."

Baines, who himself has been in fine form all season, will be one of the men given the overwhelming task of trying to stop the formidable Gareth Bale from running riot at White Hart Lane. 

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