Holgate Out To Repay Lampard Faith

Mason Holgate is aiming to capitalise on a “fresh start” with Everton after the player received a revitalising vote of confidence from new manager Frank Lampard.

Defender Holgate started for the 10th time this season in Lampard’s first game in charge, the 4-1 FA Cup victory over Brentford on Saturday.

And the 25-year-old capped an excellent personal performance when he headed in his third goal for the Club, with the game poised at 2-1.

Holgate, who played on both sides of a back three against Brentford, is hoping to start a third straight match for the first time this season when Everton go to Newcastle United on Tuesday.

“The past couple of seasons haven’t gone great for me, but it is a fresh start for everybody and the style of play the boss wants suits me perfectly,” Holgate told evertontv.

“To get a chance to start, and for him to have confidence in me straight away, is something I’ve needed: a burst of confidence from someone or backing from a manager. It feels I have that from the new boss.

“All I can do now is go out and consistently prove him right.

“He is one of the great names in Premier League football, people of my era grew up watching him win things and he was a great footballer for Chelsea and England.

“Throughout my youth he was in his prime.

“When it [manager] is someone you know has been through it and had every experience you have and more, you are desperate to learn because you want to do what they did in the game.

“To get the winning feeling and the confidence [from beating Brentford] is massive and we need to keep the momentum.

“We played in a way that reflected the confidence we showed all week in training after the boss came in.

“But it is easy to do it in training, so to come out and do it for 90 minutes was massive for us and showed us what we can do.

“Now, we have to do it consistently.

Mason Holgate
For him to have confidence in me straight away is something I’ve needed: a burst of confidence from someone or backing from a manager. It feels I have that from the new boss.

“There is no point being great on Saturday, then everybody dropping on Tuesday. 

“We are into the next round, which is great, but we have a huge game at Newcastle."

The first sign of Lampard’s training ground instructions transferring to the playing field were evident in Everton’s use of the ball against Brentford.

Everton had 56 per cent of possession and made 480 passes to their opponents’ 369. Both figures were higher than anything recorded since May last year.

Holgate, meanwhile, struck more accurate long balls (8) than any other outfield player and hit his target with 79 per cent of passes.

The Englishman was unruffled defensively, completing two interceptions and two clearances and winning three ground duels.

“It was the style of play we worked on all week,” said Holgate.

“We have the quality to play out and get hold of the ball and some of the passages of play showed that.

“The boss emphasised that was what he wanted and we went out and did it.

“But it was also about knowing our jobs when we didn’t have the ball.

“We didn’t get the clean sheet but were quite solid.

“We know when we play out there will be a couple that turnover but it's the reaction that's important.”

Everton appeared in complete control at 2-0 but a penalty from Ivan Toney gave the visitors a glimmer of hope.

Brentford optimism was extinguished, however, when Holgate converted from close range eight minutes after Toney’s strike.

“It was about the confidence and belief to not have a wobble,” added Holgate.

“We were dominating before their goal and at points this season it could have gone that way [Brentford comeback].

“But the fans didn’t seem that nervous and it didn’t change the way we played.

“I want to add more goals to my game and I was buzzing to score and get the win we needed to get everything going.

“But we have to be consistent and it is a quick turnaround for another massive game.

“It is a good start but there is room for improvement, as we understand and grow in our roles.”