Hearts seal of SPFL approval for St Johnstone new-boy Daniel Phillips

Daniel Phillips moved to St Johnstone and the SPFL to ‘be seen’ on the recommendation of former Hearts midfielder Olly Lee and was immediately thrust into the spotlight in front of 48,665.

A midweek signing from Watford after a successful trial, the Trinidad and Tobago international was given just seven minutes to prepare before replacing injured Cammy MacPherson from the bench against Rangers – a move outwith manager Callum Davidson’s plans for the midfielder.

However, Phillips took it in his stride and insists there is more to come once he is up to speed with the game in Scotland, after holding his own against John Lundstram and Ryan Jack in the middle of the park.

“I said to the gaffer it was a baptism of fire but these are the games you want to play in, so you have to be ready for anything,” the 21-year-old said.

“We warm up as subs because you never know what can happen in a game, so when I was called I was ready to go.

“It was very high quality and very high pace and something I will need to adapt to quickly to impact the game even more.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more [than a big crowd for debut]. I’ve played probably in front of about half 20,000 I’d say, but I wasn’t nervous, just comfortable.”

Former Hearts midfielder Lee recommended the move from last term’s loan at Gillingham to the Scottish top flight, as did his colleagues at Vicarage Road Dan Bachmann, once of Kilmarnock, and Joseph Hungbo who spent last season at Ross County and co-incidentally made his own debut against Rangers.

James Tavernier and Daniel Phillips in action during the 4-0 win for Rangers. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“They said there was good tempo, good quality and somewhere that if you play well you will be seen.

“You look at the positives and the opportunity to step up the ladder and make a name for yourself is one.”

He added: “I always back myself to get on the ball and make things happen, so I try to do it wherever I am. I feel ready and good to go.

“I know the league and the quality of the league and when the opportunity arose I thought it was definitely something I should come, see for myself and try my best to get.”

St Johnstone's Daniel Phillips. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

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