By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Leighton Baines has delivered a blunt assessment of Everton’s recent performances by admitting the players have “no chemistry” on the pitch.
The England international recognised his team’s failings in the wake of their 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
It was a third consecutive Premier League defeat for Roberto Martinez’s team and leaves them languishing in 12th in the table with eight matches in the competition remaining.
“I just don’t feel as though the chemistry is quite there with the team on the pitch at the moment, and it hasn’t been for a while,” said Baines, as quoted in the Daily Post on Monday. “We are maybe leaning too heavily on individuals to come up with something.
“We’re in games, we were in the game on Sunday and had a couple of chances, but we’re not performing as a team to the level we know we can or we should be.
“Results have an impact on that because chemistry and confidence go hand in hand – look at the teams who are having success this year and you’d say they have chemistry.
“If I had to say one thing, I just don’t know if it’s there with us at the moment, for whatever reason.”
The left-back admits that Everton’s season now hinges on their FA Cup semi-final on 23 April at Wembley, when they will play the winners of the quarter-final replay between Manchester United and West Ham.
Baines accepts that no player in the team can expect to have nailed down a place in the starting X1 for the showdown in the capital as a result of their wretched recent form.
“You are only really secure as individuals when you are winning games but even then we will make changes from time to time with what is required tactically,” Baines added in the Daily Post.
“I don’t think there is anyone expecting to have their name pencilled in for that game (FA Cup semi-final) but the motivation should be getting your name there.”
Martinez has come under growing pressure as a result of Everton’s place in the table.
In other Everton news, ex-Liverpool striker Stan Collymore has identified who Martinez should sign this summer to keep his job.