By Alan Hutton

11th Feb, 2021 | 10:00am

Hutton: Dreadful pitch to blame for potentially 'Huge' Phillips blow at Leeds

Alan Hutton has suggested the old Elland Road pitch led to Kalvin Phillips’ potentially “huge” injury at Leeds United.

The former Aston Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted losing the midfielder, 25, for any period of time would be a major setback for United.

Phillips, who was making his 200th appearances for the Whites, limped off in the dying minutes of Monday’s 2-0 win against Crystal Palace to be replaced by Jamie Shackleton.

 

Marcelo Bielsa admitted after the game he was not entirely certain as the extent of Phillips’ injury.

Leeds relaid their pitch last month and lost against Everton at home before beating Palace.

Hutton admitted he was hopeful Phillips had managed to avoid any serious injury and suggested the old Elland Road turf was partly to blame.

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Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “He’s a great player, I think it looks like a calf injury, possibly.

“They’ve obviously just replaced their pitch so he’s been actually been playing on a heavy, boggy pitch for a long time now, lots of games, when he’s fit he plays all the minutes so it is a difficult one for them to replace.

“I think Dallas went in there and tried to play that possession, Struijk has been in there before but they can’t match up to how he’s done this season.

“He gets things happening, he sits in the front of that back four, a great range of passing, he can get about and he can tackle. He does everything for that type of player.

“He’ll be a huge miss, hopefully he came off early enough so it is not so bad, we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m sure Bielsa will want him back as quick as possible.”

In other news, Leeds United are set to open talks over a new blockbuster contract.