Sunday Mirror

‘I’ll meat the challenge’


MASON HOLGATE is beefing up – to stop being bullied by strikers.

The Everton star is maturing into a speedy and aggressive defender having recently passed a century of Premier League games.

But the 24-year-old says he needed to eat more and gain weight to match physical forwards who like pushing defenders around.

Holgate said: “I knew I needed to be bigger and stronger to play centreback. Some of the players are big – like Christian Benteke when we played Crystal Palace last week.

“A lot if it comes naturally, I’m getting older and it is easier to bulk up. I’ve grown into my body and it is helping me because I can play centre-back and not feel I am being bullied.”

Holgate (below), added: “My diet, I never used to eat too much, I just picked at food.

“I might have some food and then forget to eat for the rest of the day.

“But I spoke to the nutritioni­st at the club and he said I had to get more meals in. So I am making sure I am doing that.” Holgate’s dedication to improving has impressed boss Carlo Ancelotti, but the respect is mutual.

He said: “We know our jobs and Carlo is an honest man. You can’t ask for much more from a manager.”

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