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May 28, 2013

Holloway wants '60-year-old' Phillips

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway quipped that he would offer striker Kevin Phillips new contracts until he was 60 after the 39-year-old fired the Eagles into the Premier League.

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Veteran forward Phillips scored the extra-time penalty that decided the Championship play-off final and earn Palace an extra £120 million in revenue.

Holloway first signed Phillips, who turns 40 in August, for Blackpool two years ago and brought the former England striker to Selhurst Park on loan until the end of the season.

Phillips is out of contract in the summer and Holloway said: "I will keep signing him until he is nearly 50 or 60 if he keeps putting the ball in the net."

Holloway admits Phillips' situation is complicated because his children still live in the Midlands, where he played for Aston Villa, West Brom and Birmingham, and hopes he is enthusiastic enough to continue with his career.

He added: "The difficult thing for Kev is living in a hotel once or twice a week because he doesn't need to move his family any more. That's what you lose, you lose that desire so I don't train him every day.

"The lads accept that because they know what he gives when he does turn up. It is his enthusiasm he needs to keep, that little spark inside him, that jiggle. That's what I want him to keep. I have still got mine, hopefully he has still got his. I am delighted for him, absolutely delighted."

Holloway revealed that while substitute Phillips was a likely penalty taker if the game had gone to a shootout, he was not the designated spot-kick taker.

He said: "[Injured top scorer] Glenn Murray is our penalty taker. Someone else had to step up. If I had to put everything I own on someone smacking it in the net, I would have put it on Kev.

"The penalty takers if they were on were [Owen] Garvan and [Andre] Moritz, [Kagisho] Dikgacoi but he was off, [Aaron] Wilbraham might have fancied one, [Mile] Jedinak definitely did, Kevin Phillips was one, [Dean] Moxey did really well with the practising, so did Joel Ward but you try and get any of them boys to take the ball off Phillips."

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