Phillips: I love playing with Rice, we’ve shown we can start together

Phillips starred alongside Rice in midfield as England kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign in perfect fashion with a 1-0 win over Croatia at Wembley on Sunday.

There was plenty of talk in the build-up to the tournament about Phillips and Rice competing for spot in the team but Phillips feels they have shown how well they can play together.

“I love playing with Declan,” the Leeds midfielder told the BBC after England beat Croatia thanks to Raheem Sterling’s first goal at an international tournament.

“I love playing in that role where I have licence to go forward and I know that Declan is behind me backing me up if I ever get beat.

“There is a lot of talk about me and Declan fighting for a position but I think we play really well together. It is an honour playing with Declan and the rest of the team.”

Phillips was excellent against Croatia, pressing, passing in midfield and providing the assist for Sterling’s goal.

“It was very enjoyable,” he said. “It was very warm, which took a tool on us before the end of the game. It was a great result.

“Obviously very happy with my performance but I know there are two more groups games left and I need to perform as good as that, if not better in the next two.

“It is a nice feeling. Raheem said as soon as he finished celebrating that it is the first time I have found him with a pass since I have been here with England! It is a great feeling to get an assist and a great feeling to get the three points.”

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