Phillips looking to make up for lost time

January 24, 2006

Aston Villa striker Kevin Phillips has spelt out his determination to make up for lost time as he looks to put himself in contention for Saturday's FA Cup clash with Port Vale.

Phillips will continue his comeback from two months out with an ankle injury by playing for the reserves in tonight's home clash with Manchester City.

The 32-year-old lasted 70 minutes of last week's second team meeting with Birmingham and, if he suffers no reaction, he is set to be named amongst the substitutes for Saturday's home meeting with Vale.

Phillips also missed four games at the beginning of the season with a calf injury following his £750,000 summer move from Southampton but is keen to make amends.

He said: 'It's been frustrating. You want to make an impression straight away at your new club and I got off to an ideal start by scoring on my debut against Bolton after just a few minutes.

'But I've had injury niggles and this ankle problem has kept me out for a nearly two months. The Villa supporters haven't seen enough of me and I want to make up for lost time.

'There is still a fair chunk of the season left, still a lot to play for, and I want to make an impression and play my full part.

'I'll obviously be looking to build up the fitness and sharpness in the next few weeks but it would be nice to have some involvement against Port Vale.'

Villa manager David O'Leary said: 'It's good to have Kevin back in contention. If he comes through the reserve game okay and suffers no reaction, then I'll be looking to put him on the bench against Port Vale.

'It's a boost for us to have him back and it's a healthy situation if you have got four strikers vying for two places and keeps everyone on their toes.'

Phillips has been on target four times in 11 starts for the midlands club.