Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish hailed the performance of super-sub Kevin Phillips after his two-goal blast earned victory over Wolves at St Andrew's.

Blues looked doomed to defeat after Kevin Doyle had given the visitors a half-time lead. But Phillips came into the action midway through the second period in place of the injured Christian Benitez and netted in the 80th and 85th minutes to leave Wolves still in the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League.

Phillips has had few opportunities this season, and McLeish admitted he received enquiries from Premier League and Championship clubs during the January transfer window.

But he has promised the 36-year-old he will have a greater involvement during the second half of the campaign, and believes he is still capable of making an impact.

McLeish said: "Kevin will never lose that ability he has got in the box. He might lose his teeth, he might go bald, and his legs will go at some stage, but he will always have that magnificent technique and touch of a top player.

"The morale of any player can be affected when they have been a first-choice player all their career and then find they are not playing every week.

"It has been difficult for me to keep walking by him in the corridor every day saying 'Keep your chin up'.

"But Kevin has been an exemplary professional. I spoke to him after the transfer window closed, during which time we had had enquiries from all sorts of clubs.

"I didn't really want him to go, and I've told him he would have more game time during the second half of the season.

"He was delighted to hear that, and we saw a spring in his step in training. He ghosts into areas where the ball might drop, and that is the mark of a genius."

McLeish admitted Phillips probably deserves a starting place, but is still to make his mind up about his line-up at West Ham in midweek.

He said: "I still feel he's going to be a big impact player for us, but after today he probably deserves a start.

"I've got to consider the right tactics for the team but, if you get the ball into the box, Kevin will score. He looks bright and sharp enough to continue playing after this season, but he will make the decision on things like that."

Phillips has had a phenomenal scoring record against Wolves wherever he has played, including a hat-trick for Southampton in 2003 and four goals in two games for West Brom during the 2006-2007 season.

McLeish said: "I knew his scoring record was very good against Wolves. I knew it was a weapon that had done damage to them in the past, and it has happened again, I am glad to say."

Phillips was delighted to have proved he can "still do a job" after his two goals saw off Wolves.

Phillips felt the goals helped repay the faith shown in him by manager Alex McLeish. He told Sky Sports: "I think I showed I still have a bit left in me. People write you off over 30 but I am 36 now and I think I showed I can still do a job.

"It is just nice to get on the pitch, I have not had much game time lately.

"I said to myself I would have to be patient this year. I knew I would get my chance.

"You have to be mentally strong. You have to keep believing you will get your chance. It is a short career and I know I am not too far away from retiring.

"I want to play for as long as I possibly can at the highest level and moments like today make me want to play for longer."