‘Thought he would’ - Southampton boss makes honest Mason Holgate claim after nightmare debut

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Mason Holgate left Everton on loan in the summer transfer window.

Southampton manager Russell Martin has spoken of his regret to play Mason Holgate so soon after his loan arrival.

The defender completed a temporary exit from Everton in the summer transfer window. Holgate made just nine appearances for the Toffees last season while he was behind James Tarkowski, Jarrad Branthwaite, Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey in the pecking order at Goodison Park.

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However, the 26-year-old endured a nightmare debut for Southampton as they were thrashed 5-0 by Sunderland last weekend. Martin, speaking to the Southern Daily Echo, thought that Holgate would be able to handle the atmosphere at the Stadium of Light given he experience but admitted the decision was the wrong one.

“It’s my fault for playing Mason so early, he’s only been here for a week,” said Martin. “I actually thought he would handle the atmosphere a lot better than some of the other options we had there.

“Shea Charles can feel a bit aggrieved to not start today for sure. That’s on me completely. Mason has got a great mentality and it’s our job as a coaching staff to make sure he improves, me included, but he will be totally fine. I hope the social media stuff doesn’t influence the players. It really fluctuates from game to game. It’s my job to support players and help them through any moments."

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