Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips on his no nonsense playing style and his Yorkshire Pirlo nickname
Kalvin Phillips won't be altering his approach to the game anytime soon
Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips says his tough tackling approach has always been part of his game and he won't be changing anytime soon.
The 24-year-old Thorp Arch academy product is known for his no nonsense playing style having made the defensive midfield role his own under Marcelo Bielsa since the 64-year-old's arrival at the club over 18 months ago.
Phillips has become one of the standout performers in the Championship with the Whites and has been one of the club's most consistent performers this term.
United missed him during the recent trip to Huddersfield Town after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season which resulted in a one-game ban, but the Leeds-born star admits that is is a part of his nature to be tough in his approach.
"I feel like when I come up against another team I'll always look at their best players, Phillips told the Sky Sports EFL podcast.
"I just think if I can stop them doing what they're doing then obviously I'll get noticed and help the team.
"If it was me against you I'd just be thinking you're not getting past me or scoring a goal. I'm not going to let you do anything you can do so I'd just go through trying to do that and obviously it's helped quite a lot.
"I kind of hold back a bit now because I think the game has gone a bit soft on us. From when I was younger I've always been that person who likes to get stuck in.
"My Mum and my Grandma used to come and watch me and make sure I wouldn't let anyone push me around and not let anyone bully me and that's what I do. I'm more or less a bully now in some cases."
United fans have dubbed Phillips the Yorkshire Pirlo, but the midfielder doesn't see much comparison despite enjoying his relationship with the club's support.
"Other than the long hair I can't really see much," Phillips laughed.
"Obviously the fans think a lot of me and I'm grateful to hear it. I am from the city so it's nice.
"When you're playing well the fans are always going to be appreciative of you and I'm appreciative of them."