“Do the right things and he’ll give you a chance.”
Mason Holgate is proof Everton boss Ronald Koeman is willing to call on youth. And the Toffees defender says that faith has given young players throughout the Club a “massive lift” as they bid to break into the first team.
Koeman has handed more first-team minutes to teenagers than any other Premier League manager this season – and last week insisted that’s a trend he’s happy to continue.
Holgate has been one of the younger players the Dutchman has turned to, starting the 20-year-old in the season’s opener against Spurs and using him in various defensive roles throughout the campaign.
The England Under-21 international has paid tribute to Koeman’s backing, and with the Club’s Under-23s side this week winning the Premier League 2 title, he believes there’s proof that Toffees talent can progress.
“(The support) has been there all season,” said Holgate. “A lot of the young ones have been given chances, me included, which is down to the manager giving us opportunities.
“There’s been times when he hasn’t had to play us but he has because he believes in us, which is positive for us because if we are doing well we know we’re going to get a chance.
“It lifts you massively because you know that as long as you’re doing what you do, you’ll get a chance and as a young player you need to know there’s a progression and there’s definitely one here so all the young lads are enjoying it.”
Holgate has been a regular at right-back for Everton since Seamus Coleman broke his leg while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland on 9 March.
The former Barnsley defender admitted he has plenty to learn from the Irish skipper. And with Coleman returning to USM Finch Farm this week to begin the early stages of rehabilitation, Holgate says the players will continue to support the 28-year-old.
“Everyone’s behind him,” he added. “Seamus would be the first person out of everyone in the changing room to be rallying round someone else so we are all definitely behind him and know he’ll come back a lot stronger.
"We all know what a top player Seamus is and there's plenty I have learnt and will continue to learn from him."