'That first clean sheet of the season is big'

Rob Holding came on for his second appearance of the season on Sunday - and was delighted to play his part as we claimed a clean sheet against Everton.

The centre back feels that out first shutout is "big" for confidence, and this is what he told Arsenal Media after the game:

on how hard they had to work for all three points…

We knew it would be [hard]. Everton have had a good start to the season and they’ve got pace on the counter-attack and strength, so we had to be careful when we’re attacking because they are a threat. But we managed to deal with it and got our first clean sheet of the season which is big.

on how desperate the squad were to keep a clean sheet…

Yeah, we’ve obviously conceded in each game so the clean sheet is a big boost for us and that was the target for the last few games, to keep a clean sheet! It’s good to get that off our back now and we can push on for the rest of the season.

on what changed at half-time…

We know what we’re capable of and we had to keep doing what we’ve been pushing for. We were getting in behind them a few times down the left-hand side, so that was a good threat for us and we kept pushing and managed to get the two early goals in the second half. It was just about keeping a clean sheet after that.

on whether he’s feeling match-fit…

That’s something that you obviously only get with matches, so it’s something I’ve had to work on in training, and before the international break the boss pulled me in and said ‘Keep doing what you’re doing, the games are coming thick and fast now.’ So I just had to be ready mentally and physically, and I’ve been fine in both games, so I look forward to it.

on Auba and Laca…

We both know that they’re top-quality players and I think the team chemistry we’ve got at the moment is top class. Everyone around the training ground has a good buzz, so I think if they just keep enjoy playing together and scoring goals, they’ll be happy!

on whether they feel that they’re on to something good…

We wanted a winning mentality and that was a big thing with the boss coming in. That’s something that we’ve got to stick to and you get that with wins. They build your confidence up and you go into each game thinking that we can win this game and it gives us all a boost.

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