Phillips likely to stay

Matt Phillips
Matt Phillips
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SOUTHAMPTON could still sign Matt Phillips, but only if they admit they tapped him up.

The Premier League side tabled an official bid for the 21-year-old a couple of weeks ago, only for the Seasiders to accuse them of an illegal approach.

Since then, the situation has been at deadlock, with Pool chairman Karl Oyston refusing to communicate with the South Coast club.

And ahead of tonight’s deadline, Ian Holloway revealed a deal is very unlikely to happen.

He said: “I don’t think there’s a situation where we need to do anything with Matt.

“It’s irrelevant if us or the boy wanted to do anything.

“My chairman is annoyed how Southampton went about their business.

“That’s not going to be resolved unless they hold their hands up to what they’ve done. They aren’t going to do that, so that’s life.

“It all becomes a saga doesn’t it, but we will just get on with it.”

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Holloway says he’s lined-up potential replacements for Phillips should the deal go through.

But he’s convinced the Scotland international is going nowhere.

“We lined-up a couple of things incase Matt Phillips went, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case,” said Holloway.

“I’ve tried to get ahead of the game with targets incase any of my players go, as I don’t want to be caught with my trousers down.

“I’ve been rushing all summer to try to get my targets.

“I need some pressure on my young players as I can’t now expect them to perform like that every single week.

“The level of performance we are getting out of these lads are far more advanced of their years.”

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