sport

Phillips has Prem hunger

Matt Phillips is determined to help Queens Park Rangers secure promotion having had a taste of the big time with Blackpool.

The highly-rated winger, who completed a 5million switch to Loftus Road over the summer, is due to face his former employers for the first time on Saturday in Championship combat.

Phillips admits he will be forever grateful to the Seasiders for providing him with an opportunity to grace the Premier League, even if their top flight adventure produced a painful ending.

The goal now for the 22-year-old is to get back to that level, with QPR pushing hard to ensure that they bounce back from relegation heartache at the first time of asking.

Phillips told the Fulham Chronicle: "I had a great three years at Blackpool. There were a lot of ups and downs, like relegation, but I'll always remember that first season in the Premier League.

"To go there when I was young and get a taste of it gives me the hunger to get back there."

On a weekend meeting with Blackpool, who lured him away from League Two outfit Wycombe Wanderers in 2010, Phillips added: "It's an added incentive to go and play against your former side. You want to do well.

"I still speak to a couple of the lads. I was room-mates with Tom Ince and was in the Scotland squad with Matt Gilks. I look forward to going back.

"I like to think I will get a good reception. I left the club on good terms, there was no bad feeling.

"I'll always be grateful because they played a big part in my development, especially under Ian Holloway. He gave me the freedom, similar to Harry Redknapp, to go and express myself.

"Paul Ince was also a big help towards the back end of last season and did a lot of work with me on the training pitch, which is what you need as a young player."