Phillips a huge threat, says Wolves marksman ahead of top-of-the-table clash



Staff writer

Wolves’ in-form striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake believes Blues marksman Kevin Phillips carries a huge threat in tomorrow’s local derby.

Ebanks-Blake has formed a prolific partnership with Chris Iwelumo this season and together they’ve already found the net 26 times.

But Ebanks-Blake is under no illusions of the threat Phillips poses and claimed: “You can’t look at the career of Kevin Phillips without knowing that he’s a goalscorer at every level.

“He’s a top striker who doesn’t need me to big him up. He’s one of the few threats they’ve got in the team – but every team in the Championship have got players who can unlock defences.

“It will be nothing new, but it will definitely be a test and is one we look forward to.

“To be the best, we’ve got to beat the best and that’s what we’ll be trying to do.”

Ebanks-Blake is aware the game will prove a massive occasion, especially as it is being screened live on Sky TV, but insists: “The fact it’s a derby is probably something that’s more for the fans than the players, but for us it’s another big Championship game.

“There’s another three points up for grabs – just like it was on Tuesday against Sheffield United”.

n Wolves have recruited Cheltenham Town goalkeeper Shane Higgs on loan until the end of December.

Manager Mick McCarthy has moved for Higgs to act as cover for Welsh international Wayne Hennessey. McCarthy has already been forced to rule out Matt Murray for the rest of the season after he ruptured a tendon in his knee while playing on loan for Hereford United this week.

There’s also a doubt as to whether Carl Ikeme will be fit to face Blues after he suffered a gashed shin, which required stitches, along with a bruised hip in the 3-1 win at Sheffield United.

At least Chelsea and England central defender Michael Mancienne should return to the ranks after shaking off the virus which forced him out of the games against Blackpool and Sheffield United.

Michael Kightly looks set to play, despite sustaining a broken nose in Sheffield, while fellow midfield player David Edwards is back up and running after reporting dizziness during Tuesday night’s game.

But there’s still a doubt over David Jones’s calf strain.

Wolves have allowed Mark Davies to go out on loan with Leicester City until January 4.

Davies has also been granted permission to play for the Foxes in their FA Cup clash tomorrow against Dagenham &Redbridge.