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Birmingham's Phillips still can't believe West Brom breakdown

Birmingham City striker Kevin Phillips is still smarting over his treatment by West Brom boss Tony Mowbray.

Phillips, 35, said: "It still takes a bit of believing. Albion wanted me to stay and I didn't want to leave. In fact I would have loved to have stayed and had another crack at playing in the Premier League.

"It had to be the right deal for me and my family and what they were offering simply wasn't that. But Birmingham were willing to put their faith in me and I'll be doing all I can this season to repay them."

Albion wanted Phillips to accept a one-year contract with the promise of another 12 months if he appeared in a specified number of matches.

It was an offer, he says, that was probably "a bit of the manager and a bit of the chairman". But Phillips admits he could not understand where Mowbray was coming from when he said he did not give two-year contracts to players over 30.

Phillips added: "That was a strange thing to say because it wasn't as if he was dealing with a player who was almost out on his feet. I might be 35 but I'd just finished as the second top goalscorer in the

Championship and there are no doubts in my own mind that I have a good two or three years left in me.

"The reason the whole issue dragged on so long was because, right up to the last minute, Tony Mowbray was still trying to convince me to accept Albion's offer.

"They had a player sitting there they wanted to keep and who wanted to sign for them. But they wouldn't give me the contract I wanted, even though it'll now cost them a few quid to replace me."

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