Phillips brushes off Premier speculation

Matt Phillips with the match ball
Matt Phillips with the match ball
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MATT Phillips has brushed off the speculation linking him with a host of top Premier League clubs.

The 20-year-old is hot property after smashing 13 goals in his last 15 games, including seven in four Pool matches since returning from a blistering loan spell at Sheffield United.

Phillips is in the form of his life but the bad news for the Seasiders is that it is making the big boys sit up and take notice.

Ian Holloway insists Pool won’t be selling any of their players.

And Phillips, signed for a bargain £250,000 from Wycombe 18 months ago, says he isn’t bothered by the attention.

“It’s no problem for me. I am the type of lad who find it easy to ignore speculation,” he said.

“Until something happens, I am a Blackpool player and I will continue to give 100 per cent.”

Holloway also has no concerns. “I’m sure people will be looking very jealously at some of the lads we’ve got, especially Matt,” he said.

“But as our chairman has said, we don’t need to sell anyone. Matt is our player and I am delighted that he is.

“Hopefully he will continue to enjoy playing for Blackpool and for me.”


It was easy to spot Phillips after the Fleetwood win – he had the matchball in his hand and a beaming smile on his face.

The Seasiders winger scored his second hat-trick in the space of four games – something most players don’t achieve in an entire career.

When he fired a treble at Barnsley on Boxing Day, skipper Barry Ferguson had to tell Phillips what to do – grab the ball off the referee and get both teams to sign it.

He didn’t need telling after his latest goal escapades, clutching the ball and proudly reflecting on another good day at the office.

“I was really pleased with that,” Phillips said. “To get a second hat-trick in four games is quite an achievement for myself and it is definitely something to be proud of.

“Since I went away to Sheffield United, things just seem to have gone right for me.

“Prior to going out on loan, I hadn’t scored for 15 months since my Blackpool debut, so now the goals are coming I am buzzing.

“To score three goals in an FA Cup game is great as well because it is a massive competition. It just couldn’t have gone any better really.”

Like everyone else in Blackpool colours, Phillips was keen to praise Fleetwood for such a good, hard-fought cup tie, no matter what the one-sided scoreline might suggest.

He added: “It was always going to be a tough test because it was a derby and local pride was at stake. We came here to do a job and we looked really good.

“But all credit to Fleetwood because they never gave up, even when they were 5-1 down.

“It was hard coming out after half-time. We needed more goals and thankfully they came.

“It was a terrific atmosphere. The stadium was full, the fans were singing throughout the 90 minutes and it was a great game to play in.

“The lads were well aware of how much it meant to the fans. Ian Holloway had drummed it into us all week, and we knew about local pride and that the Blackpool fans wanted to win it.

“So it was a day to go out, do a job and get a result, and that’s exactly what we managed to do.”