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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 August, 2003, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Southampton land Phillips
Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips
Phillips' arrival will give everyone a lift
Southampton chairman
Rupert Lowe

Kevin Phillips is convinced he can revive his Premiership goalscoring career following his 3.25m move to Southampton.

Phillips completed his move to St Mary's on Thursday and said: "I want to get back to scoring goals as quickly as possible," and is relishing the prospect of spearheading Saints attack with James Beattie.

Saints agreed the fee with Sunderland early last week, but took longer to finalise personal terms with the 30-year-old, who is believed to have been earning 30,000 a week at the Stadium of Light.

Phillips indicated he would be moving on from Wearside immediately after Sunderland's relegation from the Premiership.

Rangers and Charlton were also in the running for the 30-year-old's signature but Southampton, last year's beaten FA Cup finalists, beat them to it.

Phillips said: "It's a big move from one end of the country to the other and that is the main reason it has taken longer than perhaps it should have.

"But I believe I have joined a team who showed last year they can mix it with the big boys."

Phillips joined Sunderland from Watford for 325,000 in June 1997 and boasts an impressive return of 115 goals from 209 league games.

But last season saw him score just six times as Sunderland struggled for goals and were relegated from the Premiership.

His low return cast led to doubts being cast on his ability to score in the top flight.

But Phillips said: "I needed a fresh start and I thank Gordon Strachan for giving me that.

"It's time for me to start showing people again what I can do.

"Of course I've thought about playing alongside James Beattie.

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"I have been asked to compare what it would be like playing alongside Niall Quinn but that would be unfair.

"This would be a totally new partnership."

Phillips has signed a four-year contract at St Mary's and Saints boss Gordon Strachan reckons the former England striker still has some good years ahead of him.

"Strachan said: This is the part of his career where he can be most influential.

"Kevin brings influence and stature and you could feel the buzz around the training ground when the player were told.

"We needed to take a bit of pressure off James Beattie and Kevin's arrival will do that."


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Southampton striker Kevin Phillips
"It's a new start for me"




SUNDERLAND


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