Everton defender Mason Holgate believes he is playing the best football of his fledgling career so far.
The 21-year-old, who was signed from Barnsley in August 2015, has started each of the past five games, helping record four clean sheets in that period.
He has been an ever-present in his preferred position of centre-back since new manager Sam Allardyce took over last month.
Allardyce, who joked Holgate is “too good looking to be a centre half!” following Wednesday’s 1-0 away win over Newcastle United, recently praised the England Under-21 international, saying: “That potential is certainly becoming a reality and I think he’s set his standards now.”
Holgate himself says his confidence is flowing after an extended run in the side and says working alongside experienced partner Ashley Williams is continually helping him to improve.
“I’m enjoying my football at the minute, it’s been made easier by the people around me, but I am enjoying it,” he told evertontv.
“On a consistent basis, I would say it’s the best football I’ve played so far. I have had some performances where I think I have done well and also not so well but I have been trying to work more on being consistent day in, day out and trying to get the same level of performances.
“Going away is always difficult but picking points up as we are doing it is good, the last two games have been away, and we have taken points from every game so it’s really good for us.
“It’s massive, the last run of four games has been great for confidence, when we got back into the changing room all the lads were buzzing. We had to dig deep, you always do when you play away but I think confidence is high at the minute and it is showing.”
The Doncaster-born defender has now set his sights on tackling a busy festive period as the Toffees bid to climb further than their current position of 10th in the Premier League table.
“There are lots of games coming up, and they have been coming thick and fast for a month,” he added. “It’s definitely a busy portion of the season we are in at the moment but if we can keep picking points up then it could be a good period and we could come out the other side a lot higher up the table than where we started.
“I think we just need to keep doing what we are doing, keep winning games, keep getting points and the table will sort itself out. All we can do is take it each game at a time and pick up as many points on the way as we can.”