Danny Mills has rubbished Kalvin Phillips’ suggestion that the Leeds United squad are good enough to be playing in the Premier League.
The Elland Road legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the midfielder is trying to avoid critics with his democratic responses and that he is simply saying what people want to hear.
Phillips, one of the Whites’ standout performers on the way to the play-off semi-finals under Marcelo Bielsa, was quoted as saying: “With the team that we’ve got we deserve to be in the Premier League, but it didn’t happen.”
Mills was quick to shoot down the 23-year-old’s claims, suggesting that the player himself might not believe his comments but that he has made them to avoid criticism from some corners of Elland Road.
Asked if he agreed with the Elland Road midfielder, Mills told Football Insider: “No, is the answer to that. It’s very, very difficult as a player to come out and say we’re not good enough for the Premier League.
“Whatever players say is going to be taken to the extreme one way or the other. If he comes out and says: ‘No, we’re not quite good enough for the Premier League,’ which they weren’t last year, is he being honest? Yes. Will people accuse him of being disrespectful, not being positive enough? Every chance.
“Players have to come out and toe the party line from time to time, but no, certainly not. I don’t think that the squad as it stands, it wasn’t good enough to win the Championship so it’s clearly not good enough to be in the Premier League.”
Leeds finished third in Bielsa’s first season at Elland Road, an improvement of 10 places from the previous campaign, but were knocked out of the play-offs by beaten finalists Derby County.
Phillips was a mainstay under the Argentine boss, playing in all but four of their Championship games.
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