Kalvin Phillips admits surprise at Leeds United's Premier League achievement under Marcelo Bielsa

Kalvin Phillips says Leeds United didn't think they would be flying high in the Premier League with five games to go.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 11:45 am
Kalvin Phillips warms up with his Leeds United teammates. Pic: Getty

The Whites sit ninth in the standings as the campaign enters its final month of the 2020-21 season.

Marcelo Bielsa s side have enjoyed a strong debut term in the top flight, having earned promotion by lifting the Championship title last summer by a 10-point margin.

April has arguably been the most impressive month for Leeds after an opening win over Sheffield United was followed up with three points at Manchester City and draws against Liverpool and Manchester United.

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The Elland Road club are firmly inside the top 10 with just five games remaining and surpassed the initial season objective of ensuring their Premier League status some weeks ago.

Patrick Bamford has taken to England's top division in style, scoring 14 goals and bagging seven assists leading the line for Bielsa.

Others - such as defender Pascal Struijk - have stepped up for their first full senior involvement while seasoned Football League campaigners in the form of Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling have gone from strength to strength.

Phillips himself has broken into the England setup and is now a regular under head coach Gareth Southgate alongside his club duties in West Yorkshire.

"It's massive for us," Phillips said of being inside the top 10 at this stage of the year.

"We never thought at the start of the season we would be in the top 10 - we just take every game as it comes. We've done very well this season. We've still got a few games left. We're safe now, so we can enjoy our football.

"The pressure is kind of off now because we know whatever happens we're not going to go down so we can enjoy it and push on for the rest of the games."

Asked about his chances of making this summer's Three Lions squad for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament, he added: "It's more excitement.

"If it comes, it comes and if it doesn't I'll just work harder to get in the next one. If I can build a few more consistent performances towards the end of the season then why not.

"Hopefully it does but if it doesn't I'll continue to work hard like always."