Striker Praises Pool's Replacements
Kevin Phillips believes that Saturday’s turnaround was inspired by decisive action from manager Michael Appleton, as The Seasiders recovered from being 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Watford.
After the visitors raced into a two goal lead, Pool boss Appleton opted to make an early change in midfield, replacing Elliot Grandin with Tiago Gomes in the 28th minute. Isaiah Osbourne then came on for Ludovic Sylvestre at half-time, before Phillips himself made way for debutant Wes Thomas.
“I thought all the substitutions were spot on, apart from mine”, joked the striker, who began the comeback with a 52nd minute strike.
“At the end of the day, that’s what managers are paid to do. They’re paid to make big decisions and he obviously felt that an early substitution was needed. Tiago came on and all credit to him - he’s a class player and he wanted to impress. He wants that shirt back.
"He’s not afraid to get in those little pockets and he’s a positive player. He opens his body up, he turns and his first thought is to look forward. That’s ideal for myself and the wide boys who are cutting in. Whether he plays or not on Tuesday night is up to the manager, but he’s certainly done himself no harm.”
Phillips was also full of praise for midfielder Osbourne, who announced his return from injury with a dramatic late leveller against Gianfranco Zola’s men.
It was only the second goal of the former Villa man’s career, and Phillips suspects that some of his own predatory instincts may have started to rub off on the 25-year-old.
“I think it’s all the talking we’ve done driving up from Birmingham - I’ve been teaching him how to score goals!
“I thought Isaiah was immense when he came on and it was a great finish. He’s not a prolific goalscorer, but it was a fantastic, calm finish. I think Almunia just got a hand to it, but it had too much pace and dip on it for him to save it.”
Having netted against old club Watford at the weekend, the 39-year-old will be hoping to repeat the feat on Tuesday night when he comes up against another of his former sides, Birmingham City.
While the veteran striker is keen to add to his seasons scoring tally, Phillips believes the most important thing will be for him and his Blackpool teammates to ensure that they get off to a better start than they have done in recent fixtures.
“It’ll be another tough game and it’d be nice for us to go one-nil up. Birmingham are a dangerous team, they have their problems off the pitch, but they’ll be a tough proposition when they come here on Tuesday.
“They’ll be looking to come here and get a result. It’s up to us as the home team and we need to start a lot better than we did on Saturday. If we start the way we finished against Watford, we’ll be a tough team to break down.”