IF ANYONE at Oakwell can tell the Barnsley players why they shouldn’t underestimate bottom club Morecambe tomorrow, it is Adam Phillips.
The midfielder, 24, had three loan spells at Morecambe from Burnley including for all of last season when they narrowly avoided relegation.
He made 86 appearances for the Shrimps, netting 21 goals.
Phillips told the Chronicle: “I think it helps that I know their team well.
“There are quite a few players still there and it’s the same manager.
“They are a good group who stick together even when they’re struggling at the bottom.
“I don’t think Morecambe have ever been relegated in the league so they will be fighting. It will be a tough game.
“I don’t think many lads here have played at Morecambe so I will have to tell them what it’s going to be like.
“We have to go there with the mindset of winning but it won’t be as easy as the league position says.”
He added: “It’s a tough place to go.
“It’s very windy as well.
“They are bottom but that doesn’t mean anything really.
“They have a good fanbase who stick with them no matter what.
“In this league every game is tough.”
Phillips joined Barnsley in a permanent move in the summer, but his only starts have been in the EFL Trophy with five substitute appearances in League One so far.
He is competing with fellow central midfielders Josh Benson, Herbie Kane and Luca Connell, while he has also been used in a more attacking role.
Phillips played with Benson – who has been one of the Reds’ star men this season with four goals – for Burnley’s under 23s, while he was in the Liverpool academy with Kane.
“I knew Herbie and Josh already and the quality they have.
“Luca and Wolfie (Matty Wolfe who is out injured) are both really strong.
“The competition is tough. We all bring something different to the table.
“The lads have been doing well in games. I just have to keep working hard and be ready when the manager calls upon me.
“Signing on deadline day was tough because the lads had already got going, but I have been working hard in training getting myself up to match fitness.
“I am ready whenever the manager needs me. I am looking forward to getting my first league start.
“When I came in, the manager said he wanted to work with me on his style.”
Phillips was at Liverpool until he was 19 then moved to Norwich City for two years before spending three at Burnley.
He never made a league appearance for any of those parent clubs with his only senior football coming on loan at Morecambe as well as Cambridge and Accrington Stanley.
“When you’re on loan, you want to play straight away to impress your parent club. Now this is my parent club.
“I am a permanent signing so there is time to work out how the team plays and what the manager wants me to do.”