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Wednesday 25 January 2012

Baxter keen to earn first-team spot

Everton striker boosted by successful loan spell at Tranmere Rovers

Jose Baxter made his debut for Everton aged 16 against Blackburn in 2008

Everton striker Jose Baxter says he is aiming to get into the first team at Goodison Park after returning to the club from a loan spell at Tranmere.

The 19-year-old moved to Prenton Park in September, scoring three goals in 15 appearances, and returned to Everton at the start of January.

"I've got quite a lot of targets for the rest of this season now,” he told Everton's official website.

"One of them is getting a new contract at Everton, one of the others is getting more games under my belt and hopefully pushing for a first-team place too."

"I do feel like a better player now"
- Jose Baxter

Baxter became Everton's youngest first-team player when he came on as a substitute against Blackburn in August 2008 at the age of 16 years and 191 days.

He has made a total of 14 appearances for the Toffees, with one start, but says his experience at Tranmere has put him in good stead as he attempts to add to that tally.

"It was a great experience playing week in and week out in front of a good crowd and playing for points was good too," he added. "It's a big thing gaining an understanding of how vital three points are at that level.
"The biggest lessons were just realising you've got to make less mistakes. You can't just give the ball away like you can sometimes in the reserves and not get punished.

"At that standard if you do, when you get in the changing rooms of a team playing for points and you've made a mistake your team-mates aren't happy!
"So I do feel like a better player now. I feel like I've got a more mature head about me and I definitely think it was good for me.

"For me to go out and get that experience of people booting you and people showing you that you haven't got enough time on the ball, that you can't do this and you can't do that, was very good."

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Key Points

  • Jose Baxter is back at Everton after loan spell at Tranmere
  • Striker is now aiming for a first-team spot
  • Baxter says he is a better player after Tranmere loan