Kalvin Phillips must start as many games as possible for Leeds United to get back up to full fitness – starting with Chelsea on Saturday.
That is according to ex-Scotland manager Alex McLeish, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 25-year-old’s low-key return to action against West Ham.
Marcelo Bielsa revealed on Thursday at his pre-match press conference, as quoted by Phil Hay, that Phillips came through against the Irons with no problems.
Injury news – Struijk and Hernandez will miss the Chelsea game again. Shackleton is back and Phillips and Rodrigo came through the West Ham game without any issues.
Koch could play in the 23s on Monday. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) March 11, 2021
The midfielder started for the first time in five games on Monday following a calf injury and lasted the whole 90 minutes.
However, he struggled to impose himself on the midfield as the Irons ran out 2-0 winners.
Leeds have lost six of the eight Premier League games Phillips has sat out this season.
McLeish admitted the England international was a long way from his best but insisted Marcelo Bielsa needed to keep faith in upcoming games.
That starts with Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off against high-flying Chelsea at Elland Road.
“Phillips needs to get back because how else is he going to get up to speed?” McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.
“Yes, he was off his top game but that often happens when a player is out for a consecutive number of weeks.
“I always found I needed to come right back in to get my legs again, get them going again, get the sharpness.
“I’m sure he’s working with the physios and also the trainers to get the sharpness. It’s just a case of that because he hasn’t lost anything up there but it’s just about getting that rhythm again.”
Phillips has played 19 times in the Premier League and picked up his first England cap back in September.
However, he is still waiting to net his first top-flight goal.
In other news, Raphinha’s agent tipped to be engineering Leeds United exit.