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European Qualifiers Group D

Phillips raring to impress

Scotland winger Matty Phillips is determined to make the most of his opportunity if he gets game time in the forthcoming friendlies.

Last Updated: 12/11/13 at 09:43 Post Comment

Matty Phillips: Hoping to impress Scotland boss Gordon Strachan in coming days

Matty Phillips: Hoping to impress Scotland boss Gordon Strachan in coming days

Gordon Strachan's side face USA on Friday at Hampden Park before travelling to take on Norway on Tuesday.

Phillips featured in the 5-1 defeat to USA last year when previous boss Craig Levein was in charge.

Since then, he was in Strachan's first squad but didn't play in the 1-0 win over Estonia in February and the 22-year-old hopes to impress in coming days if given the chance to press his claims to feature in the qualifiers for Euro 2016.

The QPR player told the Sunday Mail: "Now my focus is on helping Scotland win games and making it to France in 2016 for the Euros.

"The build-up has already started and we want positive performances in the next two games. The USA will be tough opposition, no doubt. They beat us comfortably the last time but the conditions suited them more.

"This time we will be in front of the Hampden crowd and we have to give the fans something that makes them optimistic about the future.

"We have some very good players in the squad and I know I face tough competition in the wide areas.

"It's tough and I know I will have to reach a high, high level. But it must be great for the manager to have such interesting options."

Fitness

QPR signed Phillips from Blackpool on a four-year contract in the summer but he was not available for the first few weeks for Harry Redknapp's side as he continued his recovery from an arm operation.

He added: "It has been stop-start for me in the past few months. I was thrilled to get my move to QPR but I was unable to play.

"Only in recent weeks has my fitness been up to a level for me to get involved. I played well last week against Derby and have to build on that.

"My aim is to help us go up this season and also to repay Harry Redknapp's faith in me.

"He also has good coaches in Kevin Bond and Joe Jordan. They take me for extra sessions and spend time to make sure they improve my game.

"I need it because I'm not the finished article. My game is about pace, being able to take on defenders and dribble past them. I feel I am strong and can contribute with assists and goals.

"And that's what I have to do for Scotland. I haven't had as many opportunities as I would have hoped for under Gordon Strachan but I'm in this squad and this is my chance.

"I was in his first squad and I liked what he had to say and how he went about his business. He has a great knowledge of the game and a great sense of humour. He lifted the whole place. I was excited.

"It came as no surprise to me to see him getting good results against Croatia and I also thought we deserved to beat England at Wembley."

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