IAN Holloway has blasted the FA for failing to make Matt Phillips an England player.
The Blackpool winger, who has recovered from a hamstring problem and is fit to play some part against West Ham at Bloomfield Road tonight (8pm), has decided to pledge his international future to Scotland.
But Seasiders boss Holloway says Phillips has done so only because he was being ignored by the country of his birth.
Phillips qualifies to play for Scotland through his grandparents. His parents alerted national team boss Craig Levein, who has selected the 20-year-old for the friendly in Slovenia a week tomorrow.
It comes just four months after Phillips went to South America to represent England at the Under 20 World Cup.
And Holloway is angry his own country has failed to nail down a player he describes as one of the best he has ever worked with.
The Pool boss said: “I have been in the game a long time and seen an awful lot of players, and I think Matt is good enough to be an England international.
“Unfortunately, he hasn’t been noticed – possibly because he isn’t at Arsenal, Chelsea or one of those clubs.
“It is great news if you are Scottish, but not quite such good news if you are English.
“I mean, what more did Matt need to do to get in the Under-21s at least? He wasn’t getting picked and I feel a bit irked.
“My country, I believe, has now lost one of the best players it has ever had.
“He is going to Scotland. I don’t blame Matt at all for that.
FOR MORE ON THIS STORY SEE TUESDAY’S GAZETTE.