Former Baggies forward Phillips feels the 34-year-old Frenchman needs to persevere, fearing he is the kind of player who might hit form against his own team this weekend.
"Nicolas is a great talent," Phillips told the Birmingham Mail. "It's down to him as to how much he can achieve at the club.
"He is a player who will take his opportunities and chances if presented. We all know he has been a world-class player over his career.
"On his day he is as good as anyone you'll see but all strikers go through this patch - I've been through it enough times over my career - where you just feel that nothing is falling for you.
"The only thing you can do as a striker is keep making those runs, keep showing for the ball because that opportunity will, sooner or later, fall for you.
"Sometimes you need one to hit you on the back and roll past a goalkeeper. We've all been there and I'm sure Anelka will come out of the other side.
"One thing's for sure - Steve Clarke has handled big names before so he will know exactly how to get the best out of Anelka. I just hope it isn't this weekend."
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