Defender Leighton Baines relishing the battle for places in the England squad

Leighton Baines: Inspired by the competition for places in the England squad

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Everton left-back Leighton Baines admits competition for a place in the England team has been driving him on this season.

The 27-year-old was in Roy Hodgson's starting line-up in their previous outing against Ukraine at Wembley last month.

But with Chelsea's Ashley Cole, the established choice on the left of defence, back in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland, Baines knows he has a fight to retain his place.

"I've been trying to keep my form up at club level between the two international breaks," Baines told Everton's official website.

"The competition for places is just the way it is. It's something you just have to accept.

"You respect the players in the squad and the other players who are in your position that much that you know you may not play.

"All you can always do is do the best you can for your club and that's what I've been trying to do."