London [UK], April 1 (ANI): England manager Gareth Southgate heaped praises on midfielder Kalvin Phillips and said he has been a great addition to the squad.
Phillips played more minutes than any other outfield player across the games against San Marino, Albania and Poland, with the Three Lions kicking off their qualification campaign with three wins from three.
England registered a narrow 2-1 win over Poland in the World Cup qualifiers at Wembley Stadium on Thursday.
Harry Kane opened the scoring for the host in the 19th minute. However, Poland equalised in the 58th minute through Jakub Moder. Harry Maguire netted a late winner in the 85th minute to defeat Poland and made it three wins from three to begin qualification for Qatar 2022.
"We're really pleased with what Kalvin has done. We were going to pick him last March when he was in the Championship [before the pandemic hit]. He came in in August before he had played in the Premier League," Goal.com quoted Southgate as saying.
"Kalvin has been a great addition to the group. Superboy, great humility, [a] very, very good player. [He] is really reliable with his rebounding of the ball in midfield. His athleticism is critical," he added.
The former Middlesbrough manager also discussed the importance of Phillips' role, alongside fellow midfield pivot Declan Rice, in helping England to survive a scare against Poland following Harry Maguire's late winner.
"We contemplated making a change for a long time but our attacking players were all having an impact. Declan and Kalvin giving us that stability in front of defence was key. We stuck with it. Sometimes you have to hold your nerve and stick with what you believe to be right," he said. (ANI)