Baines happy to bide his time

England defender determined to be ready if called upon

Leighton Baines: Trying to keep physically and mentally fresh in his role as Ashley Cole's deputy

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Leighton Baines knows he is not England's first choice left-back at Euro 2012, but is still eager for his first taste of a major tournament.

Chelsea's Ashley Cole has been an almost constant figure on the left of his country's defence for a decade and could reach 100 England caps in Poland and Ukraine.

That leaves Baines in a position where he knows going into the tournament that he may not see any action.

As a result, when he did not get on the pitch for Saturday's friendly win over Belgium, he understood the situation.

Fresh

"I don't really think that much about it. I just try and play as well as I can for my club and hopefully keep getting called up," the Everton defender told the Liverpool Echo.

"I knew where I stood beforehand, so it's nothing new really. It's about physically and mentally keeping yourself as fresh as possible so you are ready when called upon.

"It's disappointing not to get a run out, though it was understandable because the manager was probably wanting to play his back four together for what will be his back four in the tournament.

"It's my first tournament so I'm just buzzing to be going over there and it will be a fantastic experience for a lot of us who have never been before."

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