Interview

'I couldn't have written that any better myself!'

Holding

It was an absolute fairytale return to the first team for Rob Holding.

After more than nine months out with a knee injury, the centre back made his comeback against Nottingham Forest - and marked it by heading in our second goal.

Holding spoke to the media after the game - and this is what he said:

on making his return…
It’s been a long process and there’s been lot of long days in the gym with me and Hector, but I couldn’t have written it any better myself to make that comeback. The way it panned out was just brilliant.

on scoring 30 seconds after putting the captain’s armband on…
When I got told I was vice captain I was over the moon, so when Mesut came off and passed the armband over I was so happy. Then it went perfectly again, Reiss put a great ball in and I managed to get my head on it.

on Bellerin’s comeback and him assisting with his second touch…
Yeah, he comes on straight away, has a touch and shot that ricocheted out and then he slides in for the assist. He’ll be over the moon with that and I think Calum Chambers had three assists? He’s playing really well at the moment. The young lads that are coming through like Bukayo, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock have performed at a top, top level too.

on still being young himself…
Yeah, I only turned 24 the past Friday! But putting the captain’s armband on at 24 is a proud moment for me.

on Tierney’s performance…
He’s a top-quality lad and he’s a great lift in the changing room as well. He’s a really nice guy and he’s settled in really well. I’m so happy for him to play and get 60 minutes under his belt.

on whether it was the perfect night for Emery…
With the way we’re working in the team from the lads that are starting in the Prem games and the lads that are still pushing to get in that team provides healthy competition. It’s bringing out the best in everyone.

on Martinelli scoring twice…
Yeah, he’s been a handful in training. He’s a sharp lad and he’s a natural finisher. You saw that header, he’s a small lad and he got up there and won it. He’s impressive so hopefully he can continue with that.