Phillips puts back return

Last updated : 03 January 2006 By Norris Winter

The 32-year-old Rat Boy, who has missed Villa's last six games, had been hoping for a return against Peter Taylor's Championship side. But the former Southampton striker is still feeling some discomfort in the ankle joint from which he had a fragment of bone removed before the festive fixtures, and he believes he is still far from fit.

"I'm trying to step up my training but the ankle is still giving me trouble,” he said, sucking on his two front teeth. "It's gradually feeling better but I'm not improving as well as I would have liked. I've just started a bit of light jogging but I can't say which game I'll be back for. I've got no chance of making the cup game unless a miracle happens."