Men's Team

Phillips 'hopeful' of going to World Cup

Kalvin Phillips says he is ready to go to the World Cup – if selected.

The combative City midfielder has been on a race against time to get fit ahead of the England squad being announced after shoulder surgery following the 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in mid-September.

He’s been ruled out ever since but returned to training recently and is now hopeful he can still win a place in the Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, he was asked if he was going to the World Cup.

Phillips said: “I'm not too sure, because the squad list hasn't come out yet, but I'm very hopeful it’s an option that I can be involved, but we’ll have to wait and see.

“I feel like I'm progressing really well, and my shoulder feels absolutely great.

“I don't know if there will be an element of risk (if I’m selected) - I'm very strong mentally and you have to be being in football in this day and age.

“If I'm called up, I'll do everything I can to be ready to do my best.”

Phillips had struggled with a niggling shoulder issue for some time, and it was decided that if he was to solve the problem – and be available for City and England – there was only one solution.

“When I first decided to get the op done I spoke with Pep, my mum and Gareth (Southgate),” he said.

“I was told by our doctor that I needed to go to Barcelona for surgery and then I was called in to see Pep who told me what I needed to do.

“Pep was the first person I spoke to because he said he couldn't risk playing me and having my shoulder come out when I was playing.

“The feeling after the op was horrible as I had a numb arm for about 36 hours and had a sling on and I couldn’t do anything with that arm – then the bruising and soreness came out as the days went by.

“But I knew from day one that after the operation, I needed to get going and need to make sure I got into training and do as much as I could – but not too much too soon – the physios at City have brilliant and they told me I had to pace everything because shoulder injuries are difficult to heal.

“Pep's been great and spoken to me a lot since I’ve been here - every time I picked up an injury I thought he would be getting sick of me, but he's been great.

“After my first full contact session back, he took me to one side for a chat after and told me he was going to try and get me some minutes against Chelsea which is a real positive.

“He knows I need to be out there playing football for Manchester City and try to be involved with England at the World Cup.

“It’s funny because I had a full contact session the other day which was fine, but two days before that I trained in what wasn't meant to be a full contact session, but because of the intensity it ended up that way and I must have fallen or been knocked over three or four times!

“The first time I fell on my shoulder I sort of froze for a moment, but it actually gave me a lot of confidence because it was absolutely fine.

“Gareth reassured me in a way because he said as long as you're fit enough and proved you can progress, there was a chance I'd be selected.

“After all the hard work and doubts through injury, it'd be a huge moment for me and my family if I did make the squad.”

Phillips says he couldn’t have been made to feel more at home than he has since arriving at City from Leeds United.

He said: “I expected a different kind of environment when I went to City, but Man City is a massive family club and they’re very family friendly and treated me as one of their own from the moment I walked in. Everybody’s made me feel so welcome.

“I was lucky because I had a couple of England team-mates and there were a few lads I've played against before.

“But even just the aura around the changing room – everyone’s really friendly and it doesn’t matter if you’ve not been involved in games that much or not because we still see each other every day. Everyone's a top class footballer but a top class person as well.

“At Leeds I was one of the main players in the team, whereas at City, it doesn’t really matter if you play or not because they would still win games.

“Going into a changing room where the team had won so many titles and trophies, it was a bit like going into a big new school and you’re a little bit scared at first, but I was welcomed into the team and made to feel at home straight away.”

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