Kalvin Phillips optimistic that he will make England squad after Man City win

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Kalvin Phillips made his return from injury on Wednesday, and the Manchester City man is optimistic that he will be considered fit enough to be included in England’s World Cup squad.

Phillips faced a race against time to be fit for the tournament in Qatar when he underwent shoulder surgery in September, but the midfielder played 40 minutes of City’s 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat of Chelsea to show that he has fully recovered.

Gareth Southgate will announce his England squad on Thursday, and while the midweek cup games are unlikely to force him into any last-minute changes of heart regarding his selections, Phillips was upbeat about his chances of being included.

“It was an amazing feeling [to return from injury], there’s been a bit of doubt with my shoulder injury. It’s been a long time but I’m just glad to get back out there playing with the lads,” Phillips told Sky Sports after the game.

“Obviously without playing football for a while it’s going to be nerve-wracking when you first step onto the pitch, especially for one of my first appearances for the club. It felt good, but it was made a lot easier by the two goals that went in straight away [after he came on].

Phillips admitted that he initially doubted he’d be fit for the World Cup, but that now he is hopeful that his hard work has paid off.

“It was difficult, when I first found out I needed the operation everything went out the window, I didn’t really feel great about the situation. But a couple of days after I just made sure I worked hard, stayed positive and I’m fit now, so hopefully I’ve got a chance [of going to the World Cup].

“A couple of days after the operation my first thought was to get back into the club and do as much as possible to try and get back fit. I was doing more sessions that what I probably would have done [if there was no World Cup to work towards] just to get my fitness back, and I feel good now.”

While Phillips hasn’t spoken to Southgate too much, he revealed that he has been in regular contact with the England camp.

“I’ve spoken to the staff and physios. Anything can happen, obviously I’m optimistic but I know with the amount of game time I’ve had there’s always that doubt as well. Now I’ve got the injury sorted hopefully I can get back to what I was before and get better with all the coaching from Pep and the staff here. I’m optimistic.”

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