By Mark Smith

8th Jul, 2021 | 7:10am

Ashley Cole backtracks on Kalvin Phillips praise on Wednesday

Ashley Cole has backtracked on previous criticism of Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips, giving him a glowing review on Wednesday evening.

The former Chelsea and Derby star previously slammed the Yorkshire Pirlo, insisting Jordan Henderson is a much better option.

Cole has now admitted that Phillips has blown him away, labelling him as “integral” in this England team at the EUROs.

Speaking live on ITV before the game began at Wembley, Cole appeared to backtrack and hand big praise to Phillips.

“You look at the two pivots in front [Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice],” he said.

“I think they have been vital and integral in the way England play, that’s what dominates games and it gives license for the full-backs to bomb on.”

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Cole has clearly seen some sense after watching Phillips every single week in this major tournament.

We’re surprised he didn’t call for Henderson to start after his cameo and goal against Ukraine, but that wouldn’t have made any sense.

Instead, he decided to throw huge praise behind both Phillips and Rice, who have been major cogs in this Southgate system.

If we’re honest, it wasn’t the best we’ve seen of Phillips during his career, but just for him to be involved and in the heart of the side was a proud moment.

What a night it was, though, as Phillips played the entire 120 minutes as England booked their place in a major tournament final for the first time in over 50 years.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Anti-Leeds’, ‘Clown’ – These Whites Super Fans destroy Adrian Durham after ridiculous talkSPORT rant