'He is a great player' - Exclusive: Kevin Phillips in awe of Newcastle ever-present after win

Kevin Phillips has hailed the “fantastic” Steve Bruce after Newcastle United beat Sheffield United 3-0 to move 11 points clear of the relegation zone on Sunday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former England international claimed the return of Martin Dubravka is “crucial” for Steve Bruce side that has been blighted by injuries this campaign.

The 31-year-old had very little to do on his return from knee ligament damage suffered in March as a second half flurry saw the Magpies take all three points on their Premier League return.

The break between games has enabled Dubravka to maintain his 100 per cent starting record this season in the top flight.

Allan Saint-Maximin delivered a man-of-the-match display that also featured a thunderous strike from Matt Ritchie and only his second league goal of the season from striker Joelinton.

When asked by Football Insider for his reaction to the home victory, Phillips said: “It was massive for Steve Bruce.

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“I felt sorry for Steve at times this season with the amount of injuries he has had this season.

“This break was not wanted but I think Newcastle made the most of it. He had virtually a fully fit squad to pick from and having your number one goalkeeper back, Dubravka is crucial. He is a great goalkeeper.

“I do not see them getting sucked into a relegation scrap now, they will be fine.

“Steve has done a fantastic job so when they do survive you would have to give him a lot of credit for that.”

In other Newcastle United news, Danny Mills has told Football Insider he is “astonished” rarely-seen player is in line for year extension.

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