'Take it right now' - Exclusive: Kevin Phillips delivers Sunderland verdict on new EFL proposal

Kevin Phillips has claimed Sunderland would take the option of a mini-tournament to determine promotion “right now” given their league position.

The former Stadium of Light striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested it would be a larger version of the play-offs and, therefore, “very nervewracking” for players.

The EFL announced on Saturday that they were considering a number of proposals on promotion and relegation but insisted “no decisions have been taken”.

One of the plans was for a mini-tournament that would see the top eight sides in League One and Two go head-to-head for one of the three promotion spots.

This could see the Black Cats, 7th, promoted to the Championship in place of Coventry, despite Mark Robin’s side eight points clear of their rivals with two games in hand.

When asked by Football Insider for his verdict on a potential 8-team tournament, Phillips said: “It would almost be like the play-offs.

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“When they come around everyone gets excited but as a player they are very nervewracking and edgy. A lot of high-pressure situations so whether that happens, I am not so sure.

“Sunderland would take it right now given the form that they had going into the break. Everyone would be on a level playing field then and it would be a knockout competition where the best team wins.

“It would be very exciting for the supporters I am sure but very, very nervewracking for the players.”

Phil Parkinson’s side slipped out of the play-off spots and into seventh after a barren run of form yielded only taking two points from a possible 12 in the league.

The EFL is expected to announce more concrete plans when the government provides the next update of the UK lockdown on May 7.

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