Phillips delivers Celtic player verdict after 'horrendous' Sutton claim
Kevin Phillips has defended Celtic midfielder David Turnbull after his “unfortunate” blunder against Bayer Leverkusen.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sunderland striker insisted the playmaker “tried to do the right thing” by controlling the ball in his box.
The 22-year-old’s gaffe, where he appeared to miskick the ball on the edge of the penalty area, led to the German side’s opener in the 4-0 defeat.
Speaking on commentary duty for BT, Chris Sutton claimed it was a “horrendous slip” and insisted Celtic “cannot afford to make mistakes” like it “at this level”.
Phillips suggested Turnbull got caught in two minds as the ball was played through by a Leverkusen player.
However, he refused the criticise the midfielder for the mistake.
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Phillips told Football Insider’s Dylan Childs: “It’s one of those. The kid makes a split-second decision at the time.
“He thinks: ‘I’m going to try and control it,’ and he gets his feet tangled.
“I think he slips a little bit as well. It’s one of those, it’s unfortunate. I’m not going to criticise the player, you never do that. He’s been one of their best players.
“It’s not even a comical one for me. It’s a player trying to do the right thing.
“Maybe his awareness, his body position could have been a bit better but it happens so quick. It’s just one of those things.”
Turnbull has played 17 times already this season for Celtic, with six goals under his belt.
He was a standout performer for the Bhoys last term, his first campaign at Parkhead, with nine goals and eight assists to his name.