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Baxter's Everton homecoming

27 February 2013

Bitter-sweet night for Jose

Jose Baxter admitted his return to Everton in last night’s fifth-round replay in the FA Cup with Budweiser was a bitter-sweet experience.

The joy of returning to the club where he played between the ages of six and 20, and became the youngest-ever player to appear in the first team, was tempered by the 3-1 defeat.

Baxter (pictured) explained: "It was an amazing experience to go back and the fans were a different class. To play at such a good stadium was a great experience.

"I thought we gave a good account of ourselves but, looking back, we gave away some stupid goals which you cannot do against a top Premier League team and expect to get back into the game.

"But in the second half we were a lot better and caused them problems when Smudge (Matt Smith) came on. He has caused trouble for all sorts of teams in the competition."

Baxter came agonisingly close to equalising for Latics moments after Kevin Miralles had given Everton the lead when his shot struck the inside of an upright.

He said: "I managed to connect well, but just didn’t get enough curl at the end and it hit the post and came out which was gutting.

"It would have been fantastic for me to score on my return but, more importantly, a win would have been better. We never quite got it so it was a sad day."

And looking back at the game, Baxter added they can take positives from the second-half display saying they were nervous in the opening period and gave away the ball too easily and there was a lack of communication.

Baxter says Latics must now build on their cup exploits in the league and focus on the battle to avoid relegation.

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