PHILLIPS EXCLUSIVE: I don’t want to be super-sub

Kevin Phillips
Kevin Phillips
Share this article
Have your say

A frustrated Kevin Phillips has made it clear he has no intention of becoming a super-sub.

The striker is unhappy at being on the bench and determined to win back his place.

He reckons he would have buried the header which flew over the bar at the end of the Watford game had he been playing regularly.

Phillips started the first 13 games but has been among the replacements since.

Boss Ian Holloway said he’d had a chat with the frontman, and hinted the 38-year-old might become a super-sub from off the bench.

The Gazette asked readers whether they’d like to see Phillips in that role or whether he should be starting – 75 per cent said super-sub.

But Phillips couldn’t disagree more. “I saw that in the paper but let me get one thing clear – I don’t want to be a super sub,” he said.

“At my age and the stage of my career, I don’t want to be known as that. It is difficult to come on with 15 minutes to go, because it takes you 15 minutes to get into the game.

“So it is very frustrating at the moment, especially as I started the season in the team, and was playing and scoring goals.

“For the last eight games I have found myself sitting on the bench, which has become increasingly frustrating.

“But all I can do is keep trying to train hard and when called upon try my hardest, but it is difficult.”

Missing that chance against Watford, which would have earned Pool victory, only added to Phillips’ angst.

“After that match I was the angriest and most disappointed I’ve been in a long time – you ask my missus and the kids,” he said.

“I was like a bear with a sore head, because I know eight or nine games ago, when I was playing regularly, I would have scored that.

“But not being match-fit, you lose that sharpness and for me that cost me scoring a goal on Saturday, so I was bitterly disappointed.

“I am pretty hard on myself when I miss a chance, but on Saturday I was even harder.”

Phillips is hoping for a start in one of the festive fixtures, either at Barnsley or old club Birmingham, or in the home game with Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day.

Despite firing six goals in the first 13 games, the forward hasn’t started since defeat at Burnley in October ... though he did score his seventh of the season when he came off the bench against Millwall last month.

Asked how he was dealing with being out of the side, Phillips said: “I just have to keep training and hopefully the manager will see something and put me back in.

“That is his decision. But there are a few games coming up over Christmas so I’d like to think that I may get my opportunity

“it is a tough situation but I don’t get down about it.

“I spent the previous two years sitting on the bench at Birmingham so I’ve learned how to deal with it. The frustrating part is I haven’t started the last seven or eight games but I am still top goalscorer.

“But I am not going to let it get me down, not at this stage of my career. I am still enjoying being part of a great bunch of lads and from a team point of view we’re sitting in not a bad position with a lot of games coming up.

“Hopefully, I’ll get an opportunity soon - and if I get another chance like the one on Saturday - I will stick it away.

“Football is swings and roundabouts. If that goal had gone in at the weekend then I’d be feeling a lot more positive. That’s football.

“I will just keep grinding away. I will eventually get my chance and then it is up to me to take it.”