'Thanks Glenn', from West Brom's top scorer

Kevin Phillips, the Championship's leading scorer, has vowed not to let sentiment stand in his way tomorrow when he comes face to face with the man who launched his illustrious career- Norwich boss Glenn Roeder.

Kevin Phillips, the Championship's leading scorer, has vowed not to let sentiment stand in his way tomorrow when he comes face to face with the man who launched his illustrious career- Norwich boss Glenn Roeder.

Phillips has hit 22 league goals this season to send West Brom top of the table and within touching distance of a place in the top flight.

Now Phillips is aiming - albeit a tad reluctantly - to push the Baggies a step closer to the promised land, at the expense of the man who plucked him out of non-league when he signed him for Watford in the mid-1990s.

The 34-year-old says he owes his career to Roeder, but won't think twice about sending City - who are just four points off the drop zone - further into trouble if he gets the opportunity.


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“Glenn is the one who signed me on professional forms from non-league,” said Phillips, who was playing for Baldock Town in December, 1994, before Roeder paid £10,000 to take him to Vicarage Road.

“When no-one else would give me that chance, Glenn took a chance on me and I owe him everything I've earned in my career - not that I'm going to give it him all.

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“I'll certainly buy him a drink when I see him because he gave me that opportunity when no-one else would. That won't stop me from trying my hardest and trying to score the winner.

“They're fighting for their lives and are still not out of it down there, so it's a big, big match for them.”

Roeder left Watford 18 months before Phillips made a £600,000 move to Sunderland, and the striker said he wasn't surprised that his former boss had all but rescued the Canaries from the near oblivion of last autumn.

“It doesn't surprise me what he's done at Norwich,” Phillips added. “He was manager at Newcastle for a year-and-a-half and you don't get that job without having something special about you.

“He went to Norwich under real tough circumstances and turned it round.

“He's got them to that point where I'm sure one more win will maybe see them safe - I just hope it's not on Saturday.”

While Phillips praised the work Roeder has done, he was not about to concede any other points.

“We're so close now and if we win on Saturday and being at home against Southampton the week after we could have the chance to get promoted in front of our own supporters,” he said.

“Saturday is a massive game. It's a good pitch and a good atmosphere down there and it should be a good game.

“But I hope Glenn keeps them in the league and they go onto bigger and better things.”

“We've still got three games to go and three extremely difficult games, but we're sitting in a very healthy position. It's a tough match on Saturday, but not any tougher than going to Wolves.

“We know we can go to those sort of places and win. The main thing is we don't go there now and let ourselves down. I can't see that happening.”

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