Host of clubs linked with Pool winger

Matt Phillips

Matt Phillips

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MATT Phillips will not be distracted by interest from Premier League admirers – he just wants to keep on banging in the goals for Blackpool.

With the transfer window set to open on Sunday, the winger is being linked with Bolton Wanderers, Swansea and Norwich.

Manager Ian Holloway admits the Seasiders may have to fend off advances for the talented 20-year-old, who signed from Wycombe 15 months ago for what now looks like a bargain £350,000.

But Holloway says Phillips should stay, arguing that his best chance of enhancing his career is by playing regularly in Blackpool’s first team.

The lad himself, who blasted a hat-trick at Barnsley on Boxing Day to end a Pool goal drought stretching back to September last year, said: “The future is unwritten but I am happy at this club.

“I am playing and enjoying it and it is just good to be in the first team every week.

“That’s what I want to do – play as much football as I can.

“I am 21 in March and I want to play a lot, score goals and enjoy my football.”

Scouts witnessed Phillips produce a number of fine displays in the Premier League last season.

He was sent on loan to Sheffield United in October and scored six goals in as many games, which again caught the eye of potential suitors – and his Boxing Day Barnsley treble has reignited interested.

Asked if he was worried about Phillips being a target for top-flight clubs, Holloway said: “Probably, but all I can do is help the boy. He is helping us and as long as he keeps playing like he is, I think he’ll have an unbelievably bright future.

“Why can’t he think we are going to get to the Premier League? The likelihood is that the teams who want him are the teams that scrambled up and who might scramble to stay up, like us last year … so why are they any better than us? I’m not so sure they are.

“If the likes of Liverpool come in for people like Matt, you can understand that. But if I was him, I’d be thinking, ‘Am I going to play every week?’”