Kalvin Phillips says he is enjoying his time at City to date, playing alongside the best players in the world which in turn is pushing him to improve.

The England international spoke candidly on The Official Man City Podcast series ‘In Conversation with…’ acknowledging the difficulties he faced in his first season at the Club following a spell of injuries.

This season, however, Phillips has had the opportunity to gain valuable Premier League minutes early on in our campaign - which he sees a chance to work towards more regular game time.

“I never thought before I came here [to City] that confidence would be a problem in my game having played at Leeds every single week. I always knew that if I was fit, there was a chance I’d play,” explained Phillips.

“But that’s not necessarily the case here. You’ve got to be in 100% physical ability to play and even if you are there are players that are in the same situation that might train better than you that week or might have been a major part of the team for years before that.

“But I’m always ready and I think obviously yesterday was a good example because I never expected Rodrigo to come off with a red card.

“The manager looked to me and gave me the opportunity and I just thought, I need to perform in some sort of way, and luckily, I did that.

“Obviously I’m at the best team in the world and I know that the talent here is unbelievable. The players in my position are world class players and any chance I get to play, you know, I’m up for it”.

“I just relish being on the pitch, I relish playing with the best players in the world and against some of the best players in the world, and that’s what I want to do so.”

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Phillips burst onto the radar of a handful Premier League clubs following his personal success while playing at his boyhood club, Leeds United.

Part of their squad who got promoted to the English top-flight in 2020, Phillips went on to be a key figure in Marcelo Bielsa’s squad during his tenure in the Premier League.

And the 27-year-old was full of praise for his former manager who played a vital role in Phillips’ career to date.

“The way he set up his drills and how particular he was,” said Phillips when asked how Bielsa improved his style of play so much.

“If you didn’t do it right we would do it again and again, you could be out on the training pitch for two-and-a-half hours doing the same thing because he wanted you to be perfect at it.

“I think the way we worked definitely improved me as a player and as a person. You’ve seen the climb Leeds made when he first came there and obviously I then got the chance to move to the best team in the world. A lot of it was down to him.”

Hear the full ‘In Conversation With Kalvin Phillips‘ on the official Man City Podcast from 17:00 (UK) on Thursday 5 October - you will need a CITY+ subscription to access the interview.