Soccer

Phillips 'very hopeful' of making England's 26-man squad for World Cup

‘Everything is going great’: Kalvin Phillips is ‘very hopeful’ of making England’s 26-man squad for the World Cup after recovering from shoulder surgery… despite winning just ONE minute of Premier League action this season

  • England boss Gareth Southgate will name a 26-man World Cup squad this week
  • Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips is ‘very hopeful’ he will make the cut
  • Phillips had shoulder surgery in September and has been sidelined ever since
  • He will be in the City squad for their Carabao Cup clash on Wednesday night 

Kalvin Phillips has declared himself fit and ready for the World Cup, with the returning Manchester City midfielder ‘very hopeful’ of making England’s 26-man squad for Qatar.

The 26-year-old hasn’t played since September, when he went under the knife for shoulder surgery.

But after City boss Pep Guardiola confirmed Phillips would be in the matchday squad for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Chelsea, he is increasingly optimistic of playing a role for England in Qatar.

Kalvin Phillips is fit and he is holding out hope of making England’s squad for the World Cup

Gareth Southgate (left) will name his 26-man England squad for the World Cup on Thursday

‘The shoulder’s perfectly fine now,’ Phillips told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club.

‘I have gone through a seven-week process of recovering as fast as I possibly can for the World Cup. Everything is going great.

‘I’ve obviously not done it for quite a long time now but I’ve kept my fitness up and I’d like to think I could play 90 minutes.’

Phillips has won just one minute of Premier League action this season after having surgery

Asked about securing one of the midfield spots in Gareth Southgate’s squad, Phillips added that he is ‘very hopeful’ of making the cut. 

Southgate will name his final 26-man squad on Thursday, ahead of the tournament starting on November 20.

Phillips will be expected to play a part in both of City’s matches – against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup and against Brentford in the Premier League – before the mid-season break for the World Cup. 

He has been building his strength back up in full-contact training and has revealed he is ahead of where he originally expected to be following the operation.

‘The funny thing is, I did a full contact session the other day and two days before that I wasn’t supposed to do a full training session, but it turned into one,’ he added.

‘I must have fallen over and been knocked over in both three times. I fell on my shoulder, I felt fine and got back up.’

The central midfielder (left) is ‘very hopeful’ of being selected to be part of Southgate’s squad

There is plenty of competition for places in midfield for England, with Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice all pushing for starting spots in the first group game against Iran.

But Phillips is not giving up hope yet and has said he will ‘try to do as much’ as he can between now and Qatar, should he be called up.

‘I knew from day one after the operation it was going to be I need to get going, get into training and do as much as I can,’ he said.

‘I’ll try to do as much as I can, not pushing it too much. The physio has been brilliant but told me to take it slow because shoulder injuries are every difficult to heel. I’ve taken it slow but done as much as I can.’ 


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