KEVIN Phillips has been challenged to break his all-time goalscoring record this season.
It may be a tall order but Pool manager Ian Holloway has set the frontman a target of 36 goals – one more than Phillips’ previous best, for Sunderland in 1997-98.
The striker has four goals so far but should have added a fifth at Crystal Palace. He was presented with the ball in space in front of goal but lost his bearings and shot wide.
He could also have slipped the ball to the unmarked Gary Taylor-Fletcher, who would have had an open goal.
But Holloway doesn’t blame Phillips for going it alone and says he is confident the 38-year-old will bounce back and continue to rack up the goals.
The manager said: “It was a good chance on Saturday but Kev is allowed to miss. It is just about the first one he’s missed since he’s been here. Yes, he could have squared it to Fletch, but when you score like Kev does he is always going to go on his own.
“I believe he will score a lot. He told me he scored 35 in his best ever year, so I’ve challenged him to get 36 this season.”
Holloway has already told Phillips he wants him to play into his 40s, like Teddy Sheringham did. Phillips is happy to give it a go but insists he has nothing to prove to anyone.
The striker said: “When you get to my age and are not too far from retiring, you don’t tend to be bothered what people think.
“I believe in my own ability. I just believe that if I am playing regularly I will score goals because I keep myself fit and in the right shape. Hopefully, I’ve shown that this season, and I’m really enjoying playing for Blackpool and for Ian Holloway.”