'Unbelievable' - Barry Douglas lavishes praise on 'incredible' former Leeds United teammate

Barry Douglas has hailed “unbelievable” former Leeds United teammate Kalvin Phillips ahead of England’s Euro 2020 showdown with Scotland on Friday evening.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 9:43 am
Updated Friday, 18th June 2021, 9:45 am
Kalvin Phillips of England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Elland Road midfielder a big impression on his major tournament debut against Croatia last weekend, and is in contention for another starting spot when the Tartan Army travel to Wembley.

Phillips’ showing in the Three Lions’ opener garnered praise from the likes of Jose Mourinho and Harry Redknapp, but Douglas has admitted that it comes as little surprise to the Leeds star thrive on the international stage.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “I’m pleased for him because he deserves it all. He’s put in a lot of effort and sacrifices to get to where he is now.

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“All the ingredients were already there, a lot of it was down to Kalvin too. He could go as far as he wants and has proven he can be among the elite players with England and excelled.

“He just needs to keep doing what he’s doing. He’s a great guy and very humble and grounded and very family orientated.

“I know all Leeds fans don’t want him to go anywhere, but there will be big suitors if he keeps doing what he’s doing.”

The 31-year-old defender added: “He’s one of the best in England, but then he’s excelled in this advanced role and is more involved in attacking phases.

“Different managers have different styles and systems. Kalvin was just the right piece of the jigsaw to fit that system [at Leeds].

“He’s been unbelievable for the two or three years I was there, so it’s no surprise to see him doing it on the international stage as well.

“The training regime and technical and tactical drills Marcelo does are unique.

“A lot of the stuff Kalvin worked on was his discipline on the pitch, not regarding temperament, it was his positional and spacial awareness. That’s the way you see him play on the pitch, he just knows where to be to stop danger and where to be to receive the ball.

“Why he’s excelled in that position is because he’s really understated. His array of passing is incredible.

“Everyone’s started talking about it, but we’ve seen that day in and day out behind the scenes.”