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Leighton Baines believes Everton are hitting form at the right time of the season after qualifying for the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.
The Toffees defeated Middlesbrough 2-0 on Tuesday night to secure their place in the last four of the competition with the result coming just three days after their squandered 2-0 and 3-2 leads at Bournemouth.
As well as progressing to the semi-finals of the league cup, Everton have also climbed to ninth in the table, just four points off fifth spot, and Baines is confident the team will build n recent performances as they head into the second half of the season.
"We're excited about where we are at the moment and we're looking forward. This run is something we're all excited about - you could see that in the way we played and the support we brought up," Baines told evertontv.
"There are no easy rides and we are prepared for that. We are made up to be in the [semi-final] draw. We're not far off from where we want to be in the league as well.
"We're a few good results away from getting back in the mix for the European positions and there's no better time to hit form than now over the Christmas period."
Baines was introduced with 17 minutes remaining, his first competitive football since May, and the England international was thrilled to get back on the pitch.
"It was great to get back out on the pitch. It has been a long time for me - it's getting on for seven months now since I last played any competitive football - so it's nice to be involved and back out on the pitch," he said.