Leighton Baines says Everton's strong defence has been a major factor for them pushing for a Europa League spot this season.

The Toffees have kept five clean sheets in their past seven matches, culminating in the 1-0 win over Fulham on the weekend, and they sit just three points behind fifth-placed Tottenham thanks to those defensive efforts.

Baines feels it has been a strong part of David Moyes' side's game which sees them in with a strong chance of qualifying for Europe next term.

"We have not been conceding many goals at all lately," said Baines.

"We've kept a few clean sheets on the bounce at Goodison and we probably could have got another couple of goals against Fulham.

"We didn't put them away but in the end we only needed the one but we created some chances.

"We have been playing well and there was good build-up to the goal and we had a couple of other moves which were similar which didn't quite have the finish."

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