Kalvin Phillips had started out of position at defence against BrightonBut after moving to midfield he was replaced at half-time at the Amex StadiumBoss Marcelo Bielsa had denied a rift with the England star on MondayPhillips echoed a similar sentiment following Leeds' 1-0 win over Crystal Palace
Kalvin Phillips has flatly denied any notions of a rift between him and Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa.
There had been suggestions from pundits that the pair had fallen out, when the midfielder was replaced at half-time in Leeds’ draw with Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday.
During the 0-0 draw at the Amex Stadium, the England star had started the match centre-back before moving into his preferred midfield role only to then be hooked at half-time.
Kalvin Phillips has denied there is any rift between himself and manager Marcelo Bielsa
But Phillips responded to claims of any rift following his side’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday, insisting he respects his boss enough to play in any position.
‘I will play any position the manager asks me – if he wants me to play centre back I will play centre back, if he wants me to play goalkeeper I’ll play goalkeeper. I respect him so much I will never fall out with him,’ he told Amazon post match.
‘I saw a lot of things on social media and TV that me and the manager had fallen out, it’s never been the case and I wanted to put that to bed.’
On Monday, Bielsa had also denied there being a rift with Phillips, insisting his decision to substitute him was purely tactical.
Phillips was substituted at half-time by Bielsa (right) in Saturday’s draw at Brighton
‘It’s very difficult to imagine that a player can never be substituted from a team,’ Bielsa said.
‘The logic of football shows that in any game, any player can come off. I thought Pascal was better suited in the second half to the defensive midfield situation that I imagined than Phillips.
‘That doesn’t mean I was correct but I did what I thought was best. But in no way does that mean there’s a difficulty with anyone.
‘It’s never good for a player or a team to think that the positions are immovable and that the hierarchies are within a team can’t be altered ever.
‘It’s not only bad for the player who is untouchable but it’s bad for those who want to alter the positions within a team.
Leeds secured a stoppage time victory over Crystal Palace courtesy of a late Raphinha penalty
‘In this example, it’s bad for Kalvin to think that he’d never be substituted like any other component of the team, to think that the initial hierarchies cannot be changed.
‘The position of a team is that you compete with your opponents and the players in your team.’
Phillips was speaking after the 1-0 victory at Elland Road which was secured in stoppage time after Raphinha converted a penalty kick following handball by Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi.
The three points enabled Leeds to move away from the bottom three and open up a five-point gap to the relegation zone.
Phillips celebrates the vital three points for Leeds with a young supporter at Elland Road
‘Massive relief, I think we deserved the win, we created some good chances in the first half. We got a little bit lucky in the final minutes with the handball. Very happy.
‘There is always concern when you are creating chances and not scoring. We started struggling this season so we are happy to get the three points.
‘Rafa is a very good players and oozes with class, so I didn’t expect anything else.
‘It is a massive win for us, we are very happy and have to try and go on a run of games now – we have a tough run of games before Christmas.’