IAN Holloway says he never doubted Kevin Phillips ability to produce the goods in the Championship.
Phillips has scored four goals in as many games, playing a major part in the Seasiders grabbing a healthy seven points from their opening four matches – three points better than at the same stage of their promotion campaign two years ago.
Phillips, signed on a free from Birmingham City, turned 38 before the season started.
But Holloway claims that is irrelevant, insisting class is permanent.
“I never had any doubts he wouldn’t perform for us. Why would I?” said Holloway.
“Just because he is old, that doesn’t matter.
“The same applies to a young player – just because he is young doesn’t make him good.
“This is the whole point. Young players have to grow up and improve and learn their trade.
“Kev doesn’t need to get any better. He just needs to look after himself and keep going.
“Teddy Sheringham kept doing it until he was 40. Paul Furlong did it with my management until he was 40-odd, so why can’t Kev?
“I just feel very lucky we’ve got him and what he did at Brighton wasn’t new – he has been doing that all his life.
“It was just exceptional to watch and that’s why players of that calibre always score goals because for that second goal he didn’t take his eye off the ball once.
“He doesn’t need to think about things. It is just total technique and belief in yourself and he smacked it – and I’m glad he did because we needed that to get us what has turned out to be a very good point.”
Phillips was given a well earned couple of days off after the Brighton game, admitting he felt physically exhausted at the end of three games in a week.
“I was really pleased with how last week went (a brace against both Brighton and Peterborough), but I was totally shattered after Saturday’s game because I can’t remember the last time I played three games in the space of a week,” the striker said.
“I had a couple of days trying to rest up, because we have another difficult away game at Crystal Palace coming up.”