Kalvin Phillips reveals he’s ‘optimistic’ about his World Cup chances after making his return for Man City… but admits he has some ‘doubts’ about missing out on England squad following an injury-hit start to the season
- Kalvin Phillips returned from almost two months on the sidelines on Wednesday
- He has hardly played this season ahead of the World Cup due to injury
- Now that he is fit again, Phillips is ‘optimistic’ that he will go to Qatar
- However, he does have some ‘doubts’ that he could be left out of the squad
Phillips started each of his country’s seven matches at the Euros last year, and was later named as England men’s player of the year for 2021.
He has had an injury-hit 2022, though, and has not started a game for Manchester City this season after spending almost two months on the sidelines with a shoulder problem. Now that he is back following surgery on the issue, Phillips hopes he has done enough to make the plane for Qatar, but admits there is no guarantee that he will be selected by Gareth Southgate.
Kalvin Phillips returned to action for Manchester City against Chelsea on Wednesday night
Phillips had a positive impact on the game as City beat Chelsea to progress in the Carabao Cup
Phillips is ‘optimistic’ that he has done enough to make Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad
‘Anything can happen so I’m optimistic, but I know with the amount of game time I’ve had, there’s always that doubt as well,’ Phillips told Sky Sports in his post-match interview.
Phillips managed to deliver an assured performance as a second-half substitute, with City scoring two goals in quick succession shortly after he came on.
The 26-year-old acknowledged that he did feel the nerves when he was introduced to the action, but his overall feeling was one of happiness to be back out on the pitch.
‘It was an amazing feeling. Obviously there’s been a bit of doubt over me with my shoulder injury. It’s been a long time but just glad to get back out there and play with the lads,’ he added.
‘Without playing football for a while, it’s going to be nerve-racking when you first step onto the pitch especially for one of my first appearances for the club so it felt good, but it made it a lot easier with the two goals that went in straight away.’
Phillips needed an operation to keep his World Cup dream alive, and has revealed that it was difficult for him to keep his spirits up immediately after he went under the knife.
Phillips’ place at the World Cup has come into question after an injury-hit start to the season
His shoulder has been hindering him for some time, but he is glad to get the problem sorted, and feels he is now capable of getting back to his best for City and England.
‘It was difficult. When I first found out that I needed the operation, everything just went out the window.
‘I didn’t really feel great about the situation, but a couple of days later I wanted to make sure I was always positive, and I’m back fit now so hopefully I’ve got a chance.
‘My injuries and stuff, I’ve not really been playing at 100% because of my shoulder, and now I’ve got that sorted I can finally get back to what I was before and hopefully better with all the coaching from Pep and the staff here. I’m optimistic and hopefully it’s put me in good stead.’
Phillips does not have much longer to wait to find out whether he will go to the World Cup, as Southgate is due to name his 26-man squad on Thursday afternoon.