Phillips shares 'big' Neil prediction after Sunderland stance revealed
Kevin Phillips has backed Daniel Neil to have a “big impact” on the Sunderland first team this upcoming season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend is excited by the start the 19-year-old has made to pre-season and expects him to get first team opportunities if he continues in such a vein of form.
Neil scored in the Black Cats’ 1-1 draw with York City on Thursday night, in what was an impressive performance from the teenager.
As quoted by the Chronicle, Lee Johnson revealed his staff “really believe” in the midfielder and suggested he could be a big part of his plans next season.
A product of Sunderland’s academy, Neil spent the majority of the 2020-21 campaign with the Under-23s but featured heavily in the club’s victorious EFL Trophy run.
When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs what Neil’s role may be next season, Phillips said:
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“I see no reason why he could not have a big impact next season.
“These pre-season games give managers a chance to see who is ready to make that step up. Lee Johnson will know if he is ready.
“I have seen managers over the years give young players opportunities in pre-season but then don’t involve them during the actual season. I hope that is not the case with Dan Neil because he looks very good.
“It is time to give these young players an opportunity. All Neil can do is just keep playing like that and scoring goals. Hopefully he will be given a good opportunity next season.”