Eagles striker looking to prove Blackpool wrong for letting him go

This Is Local London: Second half substitute Kevin Phillips gave Charlton's defence a torrid time. PICTURE BY EDMUND BOYDEN. Second half substitute Kevin Phillips gave Charlton's defence a torrid time. PICTURE BY EDMUND BOYDEN.

KEVIN Phillips has expressed his delight with the deadline day switch to Crystal Palace which he claims has renewed his enthusiasm for the game.

The 39-year-old had contemplated retiring at the end of the season after what has been a frustrating campaign with Blackpool which has seen him on the periphery at Bloomfield Road.

But now after being given the opportunity to link up again with former boss Ian Holloway at Selhurst Park, the veteran striker is looking forward to the rest of the season with the promotion-chasing Eagles.

Phillips explained: “To be honest there was part of me thinking that I would probably see out the rest of the season with Blackpool and then that will be it, I would retire.

“But Blackpool made it clear to me they wanted me off the wage bill and out of the club.

“It didn’t hurt.

“At my age nothing hurts me anymore.

“I actually take a positive from it in that I am 40 in the summer but there’s still a club that wants me and not many players can say that, so I have to be grateful to Ian and Crystal Palace.

“I managed to get him 17 goals last year so when I knew he was interested, I knew it would suit me down to the ground because of the exciting brand of football he likes to play.

“I wouldn’t say it was a no-brainer because logistically it is difficult because I still live in the Midlands.

“But the gaffer knows how to look after me and with Palace challenging at the top with the players they’ve got, it was an exciting prospect.”

Phillips made his debut as a half-time substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 derby success over Charlton and made an instant impact, helping overturn a one-goal deficit and securing a crucial three points for the Eagles.

And Phillips now can’t wait for the rest of the season and possibly even beyond.

He said: “Believe me, this move has brought my enthusiasm back.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it out there, the atmosphere was excellent and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

“I’ve got that bug again and I’ going to drive home tonight looking forward to the rest of the season.

“It’s a bit early to talk about next season but every ex-pro keeps telling me to keep playing as long as you can and they’re dead right.

“As long as you are enjoying it, your body can keep going.”

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