• Mon. May 23rd, 2022

Kalvin Phillips makes Leeds United vow after ‘very difficult’ Chelsea defeat


May 12, 2022

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has promised the team will ‘come out fighting‘ in Sunday’s crucial home clash against Brighton. The Whites’ Premier League status is hanging in the balance following this evening’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea, when Jesse Marsch’s men were not helped by a second red card before the half-hour mark in as many games.

Dan James was dismissed in the 24th minute with the hosts trailing 1-0 to a Mason Mount goal. Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku added second-half efforts. The latest sending off came just three days after Luke Ayling had only lasted three minutes longer before he received his marching orders in the 2-1 loss at Arsenal.

England international Phillips, though, is insisting the players are remaining positive and will give their all for the Elland Road faithful this weekend. Phillips told LUTV: “Tonight was very difficult. You could see from our performance that we were tired after the Arsenal game and we went a man down early in the first half again.

Read more: Jesse Marsch’s first words on Leeds United blame game and Daniel James’s red card

“That didn’t make things easy but there’s nothing we can do about it now. We tried our best and that’s what we will have to do in the next game.

“We’ve just got to look forward to Brighton, get some rest and try and get three points. We’ve known a long time into the season that we were always going to be near the bottom of the league but we will still try and keep positive and try and go out there and make the fans happy.

“The last two weeks have not been great, but I’m sure we will be ready to come out fighting and do our best.” Leeds’ situation has worsened drastically in a short space of time with Marsch’s men having taken just one point from their last four matches, while relegation rivals Burnley and Everton have taken nine and seven respectively from their last quartet of contests.

But Phillips denied that anxiety has become an issue as the club’s position has seemingly become more perilous by the game. “I don’t know whether it’s nerves,” he reasoned.

“The pressure is on and we know that, but we try to go out and not show it. Maybe from the outside it looks like we’re nervous but, inside the camp, we always try to stay positive, stick to the game plan and react when things like that [the red card] happen.”

The 26-year-old was more inclined to cite a lack of focus during the opening exchanges of games as a reason for back-to-back, first-half red cards, adding: “It must be down to something – maybe we’re not concentrating early on in games and then a silly challenge happens and it’s a red card, which makes things even more difficult from there.

“But it showed everything about us that, even with 10 men, we were still trying to play and get close to people and we will have to keep doing that.”

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