Ashley Phillips opens up on his plans to play for Tottenham first-team next season

Ashley Phillips has admitted that he is thoroughly enjoying his time at Plymouth Argyle and revealed that he has learned a lot from training with world-class players at Tottenham.

Phillips made the switch to Spurs last summer on the back of his breakthrough season at Blackburn but the 18-year-old is still waiting for his senior Tottenham debut.

Despite the injuries that the Lilywhites had at the back in the first half of the season, Ange Postecoglou did not think the youngster was quite ready to be thrown into the deep end, with the club deciding to send the defender on loan to Plymouth in January.

Phillips admitted that he needed game time under his belt and confessed that he is now supplementing the learnings he had at Spurs from the likes of Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven.

The centre-back told The Athletic: “I needed some football. Going from under-21s football to the men’s game is completely different, especially in the Championship.

“It’s one of the toughest leagues in the world, especially if you look at results on a Saturday. It was about me getting regular minutes, which is the only way you’re going to get experience as a footballer. Plymouth have given me a foundation.

“You learn different things from different clubs. What I learned at Spurs, I couldn’t learn at Blackburn and vice versa. You take the different environments and integrate them into your game.

“You’ve got different centre-backs like Dom Hyam, Dan Ayala and Hayden Carter that I could learn from at Blackburn. At Spurs, I had Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven, and I’ve taken pieces from them and tried to integrate it into my game.”

When asked about his decision to move to the Home Park Stadium, the teenager said: “The gaffer called and said if I came here I’d get regular minutes, so it was a no-brainer. He said that it didn’t matter what age I am, he doesn’t look at birth certificates when he’s picking the team.

“I’ve had that sometimes where there’s a lad who is 31 so you know he’ll play because he’s got Championship experience — but here he’s trusted me and I thank him for that.”

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Ashley Phillips wants to play for Spurs next season

Phillips is getting better with each game he plays for the Pilgrims and he confessed that he is trying to catch the eye of the coaches at Spurs and show to them that he is ready.

The centre-back added: “I found the transition (from Blackburn to Spurs) hard because it’s a completely different game to the Championship technically and physically.

“I hope from this loan that I can gain trust from the Spurs coaches so I can push to be starting now and again, maybe in cup competitions. I can only thank Plymouth for letting me come down here and get minutes regularly.”

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Postecoglou has a big decision to make in the summer regarding whether to sign another centre-back or to use Phillips as the fourth choice. I suspect the Australian will want to add further reinforcements at the back, with the club likely to send the 18-year-old out on loan again next season.

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