Kalvin Phillips praises England ability to bounce back from Euro 2020 heartache



Kalvin Phillips admitted that England have been ‘brilliant’ in the way they have bounced back from their Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

The Leeds United midfielder played in all 7 of the Three Lions matches at the tournament and played in two of the three recent World Cup qualifiers.

He has built a key partnership in the middle of the park alongside West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and they are clearly considered Gareth Southgate’s first-choice pairing.

They were both important as England continued their near flawless preparations for next year’s tournament in Qatar. However, they did suffer their first setback of qualifying as Poland midfielder Damian Szymański headed in a stoppage-time equaliser on Wednesday evening.

The Euro 2020 finalists remain in pole position to confirm automatic qualification for the World Cup with four points separating them and second-placed Albania.

Phillips was full of praise for everyone involved in the England set up to have responded in such a positive manner following the sour end to the summer.

“I think we’ve done really well,” he told ITV after the draw with Poland.

“Obviously we were very disappointed with the Euros and not winning it but to come back and play the football we have I think it has been brilliant.

“It’s testimony to the coaching staff, the players and everyone around the place.

“We all love playing for each other, we fight for each other, we know how to win games and we know what it takes to win games.

“I think we’ve got a great group of players and after the upset in the summer we know what we need to do to get to where we want to be and that’s what we will continue doing.”

Despite still being in a commanding position in Group I, it was a disappointing way for Southgate’s men to drop two points in Warsaw.

It became a tough night for Phillips personally very early on when he was astonishingly booked after just seven minutes for trying to turn away from his opposite number.

The Whites midfielder put in a more than solid performance after that but admitted his disappointment at not being able to hold out for all three points.

“It was frustrating, really,” he said. “I thought we were on top for most of the game. We had a few chances and Harry [Kane] got his goal, which was a very nice goal, but couldn’t quite finish it in the end.”

Despite managing to keep goalscoring sensation Robert Lewandowski quiet for 91 minutes, it was his quality delivery that brought the equaliser.

When asked whether it was down to the skill of the Bayern Munich striker or because England had switched off, Phillips said: “I don’t know, I don’t know – it’s a bit of both.

“Obviously we know that he’s a great player but we have to look back at it ourselves and we have to work on making them situations better and I’m pretty sure we will do that.”

The 25-year-old will now switch his focus to Leeds’ clash with Liverpool at Elland Road this Sunday as he and his club team mates continue their search for their first win of the season.





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