MATT Phillips has vowed to live up to the hype which has seen him compared to some of the world’s best players including Premier League sensation Gareth Bale this week.
The Bedgrove winger was talking after his manager Ian Holloway backed him to follow in the footsteps of the Welshman and become one of the world’s leading stars like Lionel Messi.
But the compliments didn’t stop there with madcap Holloway going on to compare signing the 19-year-old for just £325,000 to scooping a lottery jackpot - such is his expectation that he will reach the top of the sport.
In an interview with The Sun Holloway said: “I have seen in him things that top clubs in the world, their players have got – there is nothing to say he can’t be a world star providing he keeps working.”
And such is the ambition of the young sensation that he is eager to prove his manager right and become one of the world’s leading stars.
He said: “It is nice to hear things like that and obviously Gareth is a top player so being compared to him is massive for me.
“My aim now is to try and follow on from this and firmly establish myself in the Premier League.”
The former Grange School pupil has made a huge impression since moving to the country’s top division and he is honoured with the ringing endorsement from his popular manager.
He said: “When Ian talks about you like that then if fills you with a lot of confidence.
“I always look forward to playing in any position and getting confidence like that is massive for any player.”
Phillips admitted he was happy to play wherever Holloway wants him and is just grateful for the chances that his manager is offering.
He said: “I am a winger so I understand that role more than any other but I am always willing to learn.
“The way we play, Ian likes to have movement and keep changing from the right to the left throughout the game.
“The players are always moving about anyway – we don’t have just one position we play.”
Phillips is now looking to repay his managers faith by helping Blackpool stay in the division.
They are four points above the relegation zone and the former Wycombe Wanderers star is looking to play a key role in the season’s finale.
He said: “The main thing is to stay in the Premier League and I am sure the focus will be on making sure we do that.”