Marsch: Phillips missing being at Leeds after slow Man City start

    Leeds United manager Jesse Marsh believes Calvin Phillips misses Elland Road after a slow start to his Manchester City career.

    Phillips has only made four appearances as a substitute for City, for a total of 54 minutes on the pitch, since joining from boyhood club Leeds on a £42m deal in July.

    The 27-year-old had several injuries but recovered from shoulder surgery just in time to be named to the England squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

    However, just when he seemed ready to make his mark at City, boss Pep Guardiola overlooked Phillips for selection against Liverpool last week due to being “overweight”.

    As Phillips’ new team prepares for Wednesday’s trip to his old team in the Premier League, Marsh acknowledged that both Leeds and Phillips are still adjusting five months later.

    “We still miss Calvin,” Marsh told reporters. “He came to one of our matches, Fulham, and you could see that he felt the pain of losing this match with us after the match.

    “He missed being here. Of course he misses being here – he misses the guys, he has a lot of great friends here, this club is in his heart.

    “Calvin was such a good player, but to me he was a very likeable, warm person who was there for the team.

    “He got along with everyone here, with the older players as well as the younger players, with me and also with the academy coaches.

    “The hardest part about replacing Calvin was making sure we still have a sense of what Leeds United is, what it means to be from Leeds, what the history of the club means.”

    Phillips joined Leeds at the age of 14 and worked his way through the academy before making 234 first team appearances as well as his first 23 caps for England.

    Should the midfielder show up at Elland Road on Wednesday, Marsh expects him to handle the situation well and potentially use it as a turning point in his City career.

    “It felt like he belonged to this place, that this was his home,” Marsh said. “I’m sure that even when he made the decision to leave, that was a big part of the difficulty.

    “Having returned, I think he will return to those emotions, and I think it will bring him the best. That’s the kind of person he is.”

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