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Matt Aims To Hit The Ground Running

20 July 2012

Winger Set For Full Pre-Season

Matt Phillips hopes to hit the ground running with a full pre-season at Blackpool under his belt.

The 21-year-old is yet to see through the full month of July with The Seasiders, having joined in August 2010 and linking up with the England U-20 squad last summer.

Only spending a few days out in Portugal prior to flying out to Colombia 12 months ago, the winger hopes to feel the benefits of spending a full week with his team-mates this time around.

"The under-20 World Cup sort of hindered my pre-season," he admitted. "It's better to come away and be together and go right the way through pre-season together. I came back a little less sharp than everyone else so I needed to go away and get my minutes up and then come back and play again."

It was a loan spell at Sheffield United that kick-started his campaign, which ended with 12 goals in tangerine, a full international cap for Scotland and a place in the PFA Championship Team of the Year.

"It was a mixed season last year but a very good one on a personal level. Obviously it ended a bit disappointing with Wembley but I look to keep improving and try and get in the team to start with.

"Under Ian Holloway I think my game has come on leaps and bounds. The next thing is to get back in the side and make sure I'm in the starting 11 come the first game," he added.

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