Phillips in training for chance

Matt Phillips in action against Newcastle United's Jose Enrique
Matt Phillips in action against Newcastle United's Jose Enrique
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MATT Phillips hopes practise makes perfect in his bid to be a first-team regular with the Seasiders next term.

The winger regularly stayed behind after training to do extra work during his first season.

It began to pay off when the 20-year-old had a run in the side towards the end of the campaign.

But he could come under pressure for a place next season, as the Seasiders are linked with former Manchester United winger Bojan Djordjic.

Manager Ian Holloway knows all about Djordjic, 29, who was among his charges when he was Plymouth boss. The 29-year-old has since been with Hungarian club Videoton.

Phillips, signed from Wycombe for £350,000 last summer, can look back on his first season at Pool with satisfaction and always knew he would have to bide his time.

But he has revealed he’s been working hard and is determined to make a big splash next term.

“I was learning all season because there is a big difference between League One and League Two in comparison to the Premier League,” said the winger.

“I did a lot of work with Steve Thompson after training on my end product, whether it was getting crosses in or shooting, so I need to continue to do that.

“You always need a cross or a shot at the end of a run or dribble because setting up or scoring a goal is vital.

“Consistency is something I need to work on in order to achieve that goal.

“Next season I’ll look to push on again and get some more starts in the team.

“I’m still young and still learning, so I need to make sure that I take everything on board and out it into practice.

“Last season was unbelievable and just flew by.

“It has been a dream come true to be involved as much as I was in my first season.”

Phillips scored on his Premier League debut, after coming on as a substitute in the home game with Blackburn.

He also caught the eye with some fine displays, most notably away at Aston Villa and after coming on as a half time substitute at Manchester City.