Kevin Phillips believes that Birmingham City can beat the drop - and he can get the required goals.

Phillips scored on his first Premier League start of the season to set Blues on their way to a crucial victory over Bolton Wanderers.

The top-flight’s oldest outfield player at the age of 37, Phillips reckons it was proof that he can also play on for at least another year among the elite.

“For my first league goal of the season, it was probably the latest one in my career,” the striker reflected. “And a timely one I suppose.

“I was delighted to start the game. I had an inkling I would, but I wasn’t 100 per cent sure.

“It’s time now - we all know - to score goals. We haven’t scored enough.

“I’d like to think I’d get a little run in the team between now and the end of the season, and I’ll only get fitter and stronger.

“And that just confirmed to me that I can definitely continue playing at this level for another year, without a shadow of a doubt.

“Don’t be putting that out as headlines, that that’s my message.

“At the end of the day it’s personal. I feel happy in myself and I feel that I can still play in the Premier League.

“Yes, I might not run the channels like I used to do, but I like to think I create other problems.

“And, ultimately, I am paid to score goals and I am in the right places at the right time - which showed on Saturday.”

Phillips has now scored four times in as many starts for Blues, with three other goals coming in the Carling and FA Cups.

But it is in the league where he has been overlooked, until  now.

Fourteen times he has been an unused substitute, and the rest of his minutes from eight appearances coming on as a replacement total 110 - just 20 more than the 90 he completed in one fell swoop against the Trotters.

Phillips was paired with Cameron Jerome and, as they appeared in the FA Cup quarter-final against Bolton, it was a good fit.

“I don’t know whether that came into the manager’s thinking,” said Phillips. “All I can say is that every time me and Cammy have played we have done well. We score goals and we create problems.

“It’s up to the manager what he does this weekend but we both put in a performance that hopefully warrants us another start.”
Blues travel to Blackburn Rovers having hoisted themselves out of the relegation zone and into 15th place.

“It was a massive win,” said Phillips. “We knew it was going to be a tough game against Bolton.

“Three points at this stage of the season, it doesn’t matter how they come.

“I thought we played some good stuff. Yes, it was backs to the wall at times,  you are always going to get that against Bolton.

“They throw it into the box, there’s Kevin Davies in there. Ben Foster pulled off an unbelievable save towards the end.

“It was a massive three points for us and we can’t get too carried away as it’s still very tight down there.

“But it was a good benchmark for us that result and performance going to Blackburn, because we feel we get something there.”

Blues hadn’t won since lifting the Carling Cup a month ago and for Phillips the reason was simple.

“I don’t think there was a hangover, that’s just an excuse. Everyone uses that.

“Yes, we all had hangovers after the game! But once you got back to training it’s forgotten about.
“We just haven’t played well enough. Simple as that.
“I thought Saturday there was some good stuff. We created lots of chances, and we defended excellently. And we got the rub of the green, which perhaps we haven’t had in the last couple of months.”