'I have to pinch myself' - Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips makes England admission ahead of Euro 2020

Kalvin Phillips believes the “sky is the limit” for him as he targets a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 12:40 pm
Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips in action for England. Pic: Getty

The Leeds midfielder started all three games across the March international break having been capped for the first time earlier this season.

He will now be pushing for involvement in the summer when the rearranged European Championship finals role around.

As things stand, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate will have to whittle his squad down to 23 names for the tournament.

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The continued fitness concern of Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson could yet lead to Phillips being assured of a place in Southgate’s ranks – but the 25-year-old is taking nothing for granted.

“I’m very happy with playing the last three games but I always know there’s room for improvement,” he said. “I’m happy just to be playing for England never mind if I was sat on the bench. I’d be happy as well.

“I want to be playing games and Gareth’s seen that and has seen that I’m capable of playing in different positions in midfield, which is a good thing as well.

“I’m looking forward to the next camp. Whether I’ll be in it, whether I’ll not, I’m not too sure but the sky’s the limit for me and I think if I keep working hard then why not?

“From the start of the season, I never really thought I would be in this position. But whenever I have had the chance, I have just tried to do my best and work my hardest.

“The manager has seen that and he’s had the confidence to play me in the last three games. I’m very grateful for that and I will always try and do my best when I am on the pitch.”

Phillips and Leeds were still playing in the Sky Bet Championship when England reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

His life was different back then and he now harbours ambitions of being involved in another famous international summer three years on.

“The last World Cup I’d just moved into my first house without my mum there and I had a few of my mates around every game to watch the games,” he said.

“It was just one of them things – it was in the summer, it was warm, you just love watching international football and to be here playing and to have my friends and family messaging me saying ‘I can’t believe you’re playing for England and doing all this stuff’ it’s surreal.

“Like I said before, I feel like I have to pinch myself sometimes.

“But it’s one of them things, you’ve got to keep working hard and I’ll keep doing that.”