Leighton Baines hopes to dispel homesickness reports with Euro 2012 selection

 

Everton defender Leighton Baines hopes his selection for England's Euro 2012 squad will have dispelled all the "nonsense" regarding his supposed fears over homesickness.

The left-back missed World Cup selection for South Africa two years ago at the expense of Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock with reports around the time suggesting he found it difficult being away from his family.

But the 27-year-old has been picked in Roy Hodgson's European Championships squad and believes that will now end all doubts.

"Hopefully this puts all that nonsense to bed and we can move on from that," he 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 is attending his first major international tournament, having previously played for the under-21s, and is looking forward to the experience.

"Everything you hear, everyone in football has only got good things to say about Roy Hodgson," he told evertonfc.com.

"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."

PA

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