Holgate Out To Take His Chance

@Everton

Mason Holgate is eager to make the most of his ‘opportunity’ to impress, with the young defender in line to retain his centre-back role for Thursday’s Europa League group clash with Apollon Limassol at Goodison.

The 20-year-old started in the heart of the Toffees’ backline alongside Ashley Williams in Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League win at home to Bournemouth, having played the majority of first-team matches at right-back since making his debut at the start of the 2016/17 season.

And with Blues boss Ronald Koeman confirming Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane will both miss the European match against Cypriot side Limassol, Holgate is poised to keep his place in central defence on Thursday.

The England Under-21 international said he would rather Keane and Jagielka were both available for the match – but acknowledged he has another chance to catch the eye in a role has hopes to play long-term.

“I’d never wish (injuries) on anybody but it’s an opportunity for me and all I can do is play well in that position,” said Holgate.

“I’m happy in either role (centre-back or right-back). I’ll play anywhere. Wherever I’m needed I’ll play.

“As I get older I’m hoping to go centre-back but if it ends up me going right-back I’m not worried by that.”

After a tough start to the season, Everton have won two games in a row after seeing off Sunderland in the Carabao Cup and Bournemouth last weekend.

Holgate insists that has restored confidence as the Blues look to pick up their first victory in Group E of the Europa League.

“We had a difficult run of the games but we were never worried we wouldn’t get it back together,” he added.

“We’re looking forward to the next game. Football’s all about confidence, things start to drop for you a bit more with wins, and we’re ready for the next match now.”

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