How important is it for you keep track of your clean sheets throughout the campaign?
As defender you’re judged on clean sheets and how many goals the team concedes. Defending is not just about the back four and the keeper; it’s a whole team effort so everyone needs to chip in. We’re looking for improvement, game by game and season by season.
Who is the best player you have come up against in 2017/18?
Ryan Sessegnon for Fulham: he’s a quality player, still only 17 and scoring goals every week. A lot of players at that age are very good but they’re always missing something. I can’t find a weakness in his game. His final ball, especially for a young player, is outstanding. If he keeps his head on his shoulders, he is destined for the top.
And the best team…
Wolverhampton Wanderers are the best team in the league and the best we’ve played. They deservedly won the league; they’re up there for a reason and play good football. They’ve got a bit of everything and have obviously invested a lot of money, which has paid off for them.
Which moment will you look back on and feel most proud?
There have been a few. I had a really good feeling after Nottingham Forest away, when we dug out a one-nil. The feeling at the end of that game was brilliant because we were under the cosh in the second half and managed to win. I have to say the feeling after the QPR game, too, with everything riding on it against our rivals. Any win is brilliant but they spring to mind straight away.
How much of a role has mentality played for you this season?
I’ve worked as I always work. I’ve got my head down and trained, been through two concussions so I missed a good few games. I think my form has been good and we’ve kept a lot of clean sheets. I probably should have scored a few more goals this year; I had a lot of chances that I didn’t take. The competition at central defence is between Yoann Barbet, Andreas Bjelland, Chris Mepham and myself - four really good centre-halves so the competition in training every day is so intense. Everyone is working hard to try and get in the team.
Has there been a standout challenge or block that has really stayed with you this season?
We were playing Birmingham City and they had a chance. I got my head there ahead of Cheikh N’Doye then we went down the other end and scored. That was a really big moment for me personally, you don’t really see those things very often so for me as a defender I think back on those moments.
How important have the fans been this term?
They’ve been brilliant this year, home and away. Probably the best atmosphere since I’ve been at the Club was the QPR game at home. The sun was out, the fans were singing at the top of their voices and we beat our local rivals. They’ve been brilliant away from home, too. Scoring that last-minute goal against Fulham in front of the fans was an unbelievable feeling.