Kevin Phillips insisted players “have to be selfish” after Newcastle United defender Danny Rose blasted the UK government’s call for football to return.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed “it is a delicate situation” with some players more willing to return than others amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The government outlined this week that sport could return from 1 June and Premier League players are expected to return to training at the end of this week.

Rose, 29, whilst speaking to Lock’Don Live on Instagram was incensed at the idea of players being expected to return whilst COVID-19 is still prevalent.

The Spurs left-back, currently on loan at Newcastle, said he did not “give a f*** about the nations’ morale” – suggesting the government want football to return for entertainment purposes.

When asked by Football Insider for his reaction to the England international’s comments, Rose said: “It is a tricky one. If the player does not feel safe, they have to be selfish. You have to think about your own safety before doing your job.

“It is a delicate situation. You have to be really careful.

“We all know, as a nation, if football was to start it would give us all a lift but it cannot be to the detriment of player’s safety.

“As players, sometimes when you say things in this situation things can be taken out of context. I am sure he cares about the nation’s morale but it is a difficult one.”

A YouGov poll asked people whether football’s return would boost their morale, 73% of those who participated said it would not.

It came after Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, suggested the return of the UK’s favourite sport would “lift the spirits of the nation”.

In other Newcastle United news, it can be REVEALED that Steve Bruce is thrilled after green light is given to big development.