Phillips can return as a worldbeater

Ian Holloway thinks Pool will benefit from Matt Phillips attending the U20 World Cup.
Ian Holloway thinks Pool will benefit from Matt Phillips attending the U20 World Cup.
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MATT Phillips will be raring to go when he gets back from Under-20 World Cup duty ... and willing to give his manager ‘an extra yard’ as a thank you.

So reckons Ian Holloway, who says it would have been selfish to stop Phillips representing England even though it means the winger missing the start of Pool’s season.

Phillips starts his fourth successive game in the Colombia tomorrow, when England face Nigeria in the last 16.

Holloway said: “I let him go out with England because I wouldn’t want any manager who was looking after my son to stop him from going.

“I have great pride in my country, and if that were my son I’d want the boy to go and play.

“He will miss at least three of our games (and possibly more, depending how far England progress) but would I be so selfish to keep him just because I was worrying about my own backside? No.

“I want him to develop, and when he comes back he will know I’ve done that for him and he’ll give me that extra yard.

“I think we’ve missed his athleticism, having lost Luke Varney, Jason Puncheon and DJ Campbell.

“I need to get more pace in. I’ve got a couple of young lads who I’m really pleased with, who I think will develop and turn into really good players.

“Matt is already a really good young player, so I am looking forward to having him back. I think he will help us when he returns.”

Phillips is thoroughly enjoying his first experience of an international tournament. However, he is hoping for an upturn in results.

England drew all three group games 0-0 and scraped through as one of the best third-placed sides.

Phillips has started every game and has been one of the standout performers.