England midfielder Kalvin Phillips still coming to terms with ‘surreal’ chance to stake a claim for Euro 2020 spot amid fitness doubts over Jordan Henderson
- Phillips believes the ‘sky is the limit’ as he targets a place in Euro 2020 squad
- Leeds midfielder started all three games across the March international break
- England boss Southgate must whittle his squad down to 23 for tournament
The Leeds midfielder started all three games across the March international break having been capped for the first time earlier this season.
He will now be pushing for involvement in the summer when the rearranged European Championship finals role around.
Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips started all three games across the March international break
As things stand, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate will have to whittle his squad down to 23 names for the tournament.
The continued fitness concern of Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson could yet lead to Phillips being assured of a place in Southgate’s ranks – but the 25-year-old is taking nothing for granted.
‘I’m very happy with playing the last three games but I always know there’s room for improvement,’ he said. ‘I’m happy just to be playing for England, never mind if I was sat on the bench. I’d be happy as well.
‘I want to be playing games and Gareth’s seen that and has seen that I’m capable of playing in different positions in midfield, which is a good thing as well.
England boss Gareth Southgate must whittle his squad down to 23 for tournament
‘I’m looking forward to the next camp. Whether I’ll be in it, whether I’ll not,
‘From the start of the season, I never really thought I would be in this position. But whenever I have had the chance, I have just tried to do my best and work my hardest.
‘The manager has seen that and he’s had the confidence to play me in the last three games. I’m very grateful for that and I will always try and do my best when I am on the pitch.’
Phillips and Leeds were still playing in the Sky Bet Championship when England reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Phillips could be assured of a squad place amid concerns over the fitness of Jordan Henderson
His life was different back then and he now harbours ambitions of being involved in another famous international summer three years on.
‘The last World Cup I’d just moved into my first house without my mum there and I had a few of my mates around every game to watch the games,’ he said.
‘It was just one of them things – it was in the summer, it was warm, you just love watching international football and to be here playing and to have my friends and family messaging me saying ‘I can’t believe you’re playing for England and doing all this stuff’ it’s surreal.
‘Like I said before, I feel like I have to pinch myself sometimes.
‘But it’s one of them things, you’ve got to keep working hard and I’ll keep doing that.’