"Do I still see Phillips mainly as a substitute? I do," said McLeish.
"Let's make no bones about it. Kevin is 36 now and I want to see him strutting his stuff on the training ground as well and helping other players, and he has a part to play in that sense.
"I also want to see Kevin playing with a smile on his face as he did last week. He came on and was extremely bright and this week in training he was bright.
"I still see that as his most significant role, coming on and doing what he did last week.
"Kevin might argue and feel he can start games. I've got to be the judge of him and we can get the best out of him doing what he did last week."