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St Johnstone's Daniel Phillips (left) and Rangers' Malik Tillman (right) battle for the ball during a Scottish Premier League match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday, August 13th 2022.
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New St Johnstone recruit Daniel Phillips is hoping to give his football career a Glen Kamara-style kick-start in Scottish football.

Like his weekend Ibrox opponent, Phillips was afforded an English Premier League academy upbringing in the game.

And like his Ibrox weekend opponent he has gone from lower league loans south of the border to a first permanent transfer north of it.

Kamara, now valued at around £8 million should Rangers decide to sell him, certainly hasn’t had cause to regret signing for Dundee.

And the Finland international’s example is one Phillips would love to follow with Saints.

“Definitely,” said the 21-year-old.

“There are lots of positives in coming here. The opportunity to step up the ladder and make a name for yourself is one of them.

“I know the league and quality of it.

“When the chance arose to train with St Johnstone I thought it was definitely something I should come and see for myself.

“There were a few people who were at Gillingham last year who have played in Scotland.

“And a few at Watford as well.

“I spoke to Jo Hungo, Daniel Bachmann and Olly Lee.

“All of them spoke highly of the league.

“They told me that I would fit in, that it’s a quality league and that if I played well I’d be seen.

“I definitely think it will suit me.”

Red card lessons

Phillips has vowed to channel his midfield aggression in the right way.

And the man who got sent off three times for Gillingham last season believes the manner in which he walked the tackle tightrope at Ibrox showed he’s already learning from mistakes.

Phillips was a class act for Saints on his debut – having come on after just six minutes following a game-ending thigh injury for Cammy MacPherson.

Perth fans will have been impressed by his mixture of intensity and composure.

And the Trindad and Tobago international believes they don’t have to worry about him repeating last season’s sending off errors.

It’s part of my game,” said the former Watford player. “Getting involved and being physical.

“It’s something I’m going to have to learn to keep a lid on.

“Today after I got my first booking it showed that I am learning – when to go and when to stand.”

Be prepared

There were no points for Saints but plenty of post-match plaudits came Phillips’ way after he took an unexpectedly swift entrance in his stride.

“You’ve got to be prepared,” he said.

“You make sure you’re properly warmed up as a sub because you never know what might happen.

“I was ready to go.

“I always back myself to get on the ball and make things happen.

“That’s something I’ll try to do whatever the circumstances.”

Phillips added: “It was a baptism of fire.

“But these are the games you want to be involved in.

“The biggest crowd I’d have played in before would have been half that size probably.

“I really enjoyed it. I felt comfortable.

“The quality was high and so was the pace of the game. I’ll have to adapt to that pace quickly and I’m confident I will.”


SOURCE: The Courier