Phillips “hopes” for the World Cup

Kalvin Phillips says he’s ready to go to the World Cup – if selected.

The struggling City midfielder was in a race against time to get fit before the England squad was announced in mid-September following shoulder surgery following the 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund.

He has since been ruled out but has recently returned to training and is now hoping he can still earn a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, he was asked if he was going to the World Cup.

Phillips said: “I’m not sure because the squad list hasn’t been released but I’m very confident it’s an option that I can be there but we’ll have to wait and see.

“I feel like I’m making really good progress and my shoulder feels absolutely great.

“I don’t know if there will be some risk (if I’m picked) – I’m very strong mentally and you have to be in football these days.

“If I’m called up, I’ll do whatever it takes to be ready to do my best.”

Phillips has been struggling with a nagging shoulder problem for some time and it was decided that if he got the problem fixed – and made available for City and England – there was only one solution.

“When I first decided to have the surgery I spoke to Pep, my mum and Gareth (Southgate),” he said.

“I was told by our doctor that I had to go to Barcelona for the surgery and then I was called to Pep who told me what I had to do.

“Pep was the first person I spoke to because he said he couldn’t risk playing me and tearing my shoulder out while I was playing.

“The feeling after the surgery was awful as I had a numb arm for about 36 hours and was in a sling and couldn’t do anything with that arm – then the bruising and pain came out over the days.

“But I knew from day one that I needed to get going after the surgery and make sure I get into training and do as much as I can – but not too much too soon – City’s physios have done a brilliant job and they have It said I had to complete everything because shoulder injuries are difficult to heal.

“Pep has been great and spoken to me a lot since I’ve been here – every time I got injured I thought he’d get sick of me but he’s been great.

“After my first full contact session, he took me aside for a chat and said he would try to buy me a few minutes against Chelsea, which is really positive.

“He knows I have to play football out there for Manchester City and try to be in the World Cup with England.

“It’s funny because I had a full contact session the other day which was fine but two days before I was training in a session that wasn’t supposed to be a full contact session but because of the intensity it ended up like that and I had to crash three or four times or have been knocked over!

“The first time I fell onto my shoulder I froze for a moment, but it actually gave me a lot of confidence because it was absolutely fine.

“Gareth put my mind at ease in a way because he said as long as you’re fit enough and prove you can make progress there’s a chance I’ll be selected.

“After all the hard work and doubts caused by injury, if I made the squad it would be a big moment for me and my family.”

Phillips says he couldn’t have felt more at home since joining City from Leeds United.

He said: “I expected a different environment when I went to City but Man City is a huge family club and they are very family friendly and from the moment I walked in they treated me like one of their own. Everyone made me feel so welcome.

“I was lucky because I had a couple of England team-mates and there were a couple of guys I’ve played against before.

“But just the aura around the dressing room – everyone is very friendly and it doesn’t matter if you’re new to games or not because we still see each other every day. Everyone is a first class footballer, but also a first class human being.

“At Leeds I was one of the main players in the team, while at City it doesn’t really matter if you play or not because they would still win games.

“Walking into a dressing room where the team had won so many titles and trophies was a bit like going into a big new school and you’re a bit scared at first, but I was welcomed into the team and felt comfortable home immediately.”

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