Holloway on ‘best ever finisher’

Blackpool's Kevin Phillips
Blackpool's Kevin Phillips
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BY Kevin Phillips’ lofty standards, he’s due a goal. The frontman plundered four in as many games at the start of the season.

But he’s not hit the target in his last couple of outings – a bit of a rarity given the prolific career Phillips has had.

Another oddity: he’s never scored against Cardiff. He has faced the Bluebirds on five previous occasions, while playing at Birmingham and West Brom, but has drawn a blank. Ian Holloway won’t be concerned about that.

He describes Phillips as the best finisher he has ever worked with and, despite the striker being 38, believes he will continue to deliver the goods.

Holloway said: “The great thing for Kev is that his game isn’t all about sprinting over the top, it is about finishing – and he is one of the best at it in the country.

“It is also being in the right place at the right time and he has proved he can do that. I have never seen a better finisher than Kev.

“The way he settles himself just before he strikes it. Any young up and coming striker who wants to make a living out of scoring goals should definitely get a video of him and watch it.

“The contact he makes is so clean. It is all he focuses on.

“His technique to execute it is second to none – left foot, right foot, with his head. His heading is probably more noticable than anything else.

“Kev is just fantastic and the man is an absolute pleasure to work with. It is a joy to have him.

“It is all about timing. Any good comedian knows that. Kev’s timing of what he does and when he does it is fantastic.”

One thing which does annoy Holloway, though, is any mention of his striker’s age.

“Look at the way he plays and how dangerous he is. It doesn’t matter about how old he is,” added Holloway.

“His body fat is 8.6 per cent and that tells you everything about his dedication and the way he lives his life, and why he is still able to play to such a high standard.

“The medical he had when he signed showed us he was so fit – fitter than most lads half his age.

“I totally believe the way we play and the chances we create means he will score a lot of goals.

“I don’t care that he wasn’t picked (at Birmingham) last year. I am going to pick him as many times as I am able to this season because I love the way he plays and I think it suits the way we play. He’s loving being here and I’m loving having him.”