Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Phillips Will Be a Marked Man ( Collins

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Phillips Will Be a Marked Man ( Collins

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

He remains Sunderland's deadliest marksman in recent years but Kevin Phillips will not be allowed to further demonstrate his predatory prowess this afternoon should Danny Collins have his way.

No player has scored more post-war goals in Black Cats colours than Phillips, but the 33-year-old will be desperate to shoot down the Wearsiders when he lines up for West Bromwich Albion in a game vital to the promotion hopes of both clubs.

Roy Keane's men can boast an impressive defensive record in 2007, with the Irishman's resolute team having conceded a mere four goals during 13-and-a-half hours of Championship football since the turn of the year.

And although Collins expects Phillips to pose problems, he is confident the former England international will not come out on top.

"Kevin Phillips has that ability, he knows where the back of the net is," said the 26-year-old, who is second only to Dean Whitehead in Sunderland's first-team appearance list this season.

"There will be periods in the game where he's pretty quiet, but he's a bit like Michael Owen, he can pop up with a goal out of nothing.

"He was rested against Middlesbrough (during Tuesday's FA Cup fifth-round replay) with an eye on this game and I'm sure that he will be determined to get on the scoresheet again, just like he did for Villa at our place last season. But we have been in good form at the back and hopefully we can keep him quiet."

This will be the fourth time that Phillips has faced his former club since leaving in 2003. He marked his maiden reunion with a goal in Villa's 3-1 win at the Stadium of Light in November 2005 and helped David O'Leary's side to a 2-1 win in the West Midlands 10 months ago. But Phillips was on the receiving end last August when Sunderland beat West Brom 2-0 in the final game of Niall Quinn's ill-fated managerial reign. …

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