Blogs & Opinion


Kevin Phillips blogs on the thrill of scoring in front of a full house

Kevin Phillips - Kevin Phillips Posted 29th August 2013 view comments

In my first skysports.com blog I discussed how important the Crystal Palace home support will be for us players this season - and there really is no better feeling than playing in front of a huge crowd when they're buzzing.

Growing up as a kid I always wanted to be a professional footballer but I also dreamed of playing in front of 20,000 people - and I can remember the first time I experienced that clearly.

On the spot: Phillips scored a Play-Off Final penalty at Wembley

On the spot: Phillips scored a Play-Off Final penalty at Wembley

My first appearance in football was for Watford against Bristol City but just after that we drew Blackburn - who the previous season had won the Premier League - at home in the League Cup.

We knew it was going to be a sell out about a week before the match and I just couldn't wait for that game.

I was very nervous before kick-off. There was huge pressure playing in front of that many people as a youngster starting to make a name for themselves, and especially against a side with Alan Shearer, Chris Sutton and Colin Hendry in it.

I was one-on-one with Tim Flowers and I remember thinking 'this place is going to erupt if I score this'.

Kevin Phillips
Quotes of the week

Fortunately, early on there was a sloppy back pass from one of the centre-backs and I capitalised on it; I was one-on-one with Tim Flowers and I remember thinking 'this place is going to erupt if I score this'.

I managed to dink it over him and the noise was incredible. You never get bored of that sound of the crowd when you score! It was an amazing feeling and I just wanted to experience it over and over again. Fortunately that's something I've been lucky enough to do.

Pressure

Of course, playing in front of a huge crowd can be hard at times, too. It can be a lonely place out there if things aren't going well and the bigger the crowd the bigger the pressure on you to perform.

Playing in the Championship Play-Off Final last season, in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley, is an example of that.

When I stepped up to take that penalty in extra time I don't think I've ever been under so much scrutiny - and I've certainly never taken a penalty worth so much money!

That did cross my mind as I approached the ball but you have to keep calm, draw on the experience you've gained through your career and not change your mind at the last second. They're old clichés but they are all true and I hit probably one of the best penalties I've ever hit.

I enjoy those situations, though. At every club I've been at the pressure has been on to score goals and people have asked 'can you do it, can you succeed?' I've been lucky enough to do that and I do thrive on the pressure.

Perhaps it would have been a different story if I missed the penalty but that never crossed my mind at the time!

Home advantage

Playing in the Premier League this season we are going to play in front of big crowds every week so taking on Bristol City in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, in front of 6,000 fans, was a different experience - but trust me 6,000 fans can be pretty noisy too!

And if things aren't going your way - as they didn't for us at Ashton Gate - you hear the crowd a lot more as well.

That's why home advantage plays such a big part in football. The home side's fans can turn the stadium into a fortress because they give you such a lift; hearing 20-odd thousand people singing, chanting and cheering you on is a great feeling.

Our fans are going to play a huge part in our season this year and are vitally important to our hopes of staying up.

Hopefully we can pay them back with a good result against Sunderland at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

'Quadruple may never be done'

Jamie Carragher says winning the quadruple is so difficult it may never be done in England.

Rodgers: Sterling can be striker

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says Raheem Sterling has the qualities needed to play as a striker on a regular basis.

Allardyce plays down reports

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has played down speculation about his future, saying nothing has changed since the start of the season.

Everton buoyed by Mirallas news

Everton have received good news on Kevin Mirallas' ankle injury, with the Belgian set to be back for the Christmas period.

Live transfer updates

Chelsea close to making Eden Hazard their highest-paid player, plus more gossip

Features

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but Liverpool lack those Luis Suarez-like qualities

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but Liverpool lack those Luis Suarez-like qualities

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but the Arsenal forward's qualities are a clear example of what Liverpool are missing with Luis Suarez gone, writes Adam Bate...

Raheem Sterling's two goals for Liverpool at Bournemouth offer hope for Brendan Rodgers and his new system

Raheem Sterling's two goals for Liverpool at Bournemouth offer hope for Brendan Rodgers and his new system

After Raheem Sterling rediscovered his composure to see off Bournemouth, Brendan Rodgers will be encouraged that his new system can help Liverpool beat Arsenal on Sunday, writes Matthew Stanger...

Where does Thierry Henry rank among Premier League forwards?

Where does Thierry Henry rank among Premier League forwards?

Thierry Henry should be regarded as the greatest centre-forward of the Premier League era, writes Adam Bate...