Mason Holgate has stated his belief that he is playing the "best football" of his professional career to date.
The Everton defender has been part of a new look back line under Sam Allardyce that has recorded four clean sheets in the past five matches - a stretch of shut outs that has resulted in 'Big Sam' going five games unbeaten since he took charge in late November.
Holgate excelled once more in the 1-0 away win over Newcastle United on Wednesday, and he told the Blues' official site that he couldn't remember a better period of form in his career for the Toffees or former club Barnsley.
He admitted: “I’m enjoying my football at the minute, it’s been made easier by the people around me, but I am enjoying it.
“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.
Interviewer - What do you think of young Mason Holgate and what he's been able to do?— Ohio Toffees ⭕⚽ (@Ohio_Toffees) December 13, 2017
Big Sam - I've been pleased, apart from him being way to good looking to be a center half.
To hell with it. I like Big Sam. He's got a sense of humor.
“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 21-year-old, who can play at centre-half or right-back, has built up a strong partnership with Ashley Williams in the middle of defence and helped Everton climb to 10th in the Premier League.
Holgate now wants to solidify that position in the top half of the standings by maintaining the club's impressive form over the duration of the festive period.
He added: “There are lots of games coming up, and they have been coming thick and fast for a month.
“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.”