Dillon Phillips has endured a frustrating season so far at The Valley, which has left him with a decision to make when it comes to renewing his Charlton contract.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper was given the number one jersey by Addicks boss Lee Bowyer and started the season as Charlton’s first-choice stopper, but soon found himself benched with Aston Villa loanee Jed Steer preferred between the sticks.
Steer has now been recalled by his parent club, allowing Phillips to make his first league appearance since September during the New Year’s Day win over Walsall.
The academy graduate’s current deal is up at the end of the season but Phillips says that he will take his playing time into account when deciding about his future.
“We all want to play football, we’re all footballers,” explained Phillips, who has made just 15 league starts in the last three seasons.
“I don’t want to be somewhere where I’m not going to play. I don’t want to be seen as a number two goalkeeper because that’s not what I am. I’ve just got to get my head around today and look forward to Saturday. Contracts and things like that will take care of themselves.
“It’s horrible. Saturday, for me, was the worst day of the week. I don’t want to be here and watch people play. I want to play. I don’t want to sit on that bench, I’ve done it enough times. I’ve probably done it 300 times. I don’t want to keep doing it. I’ve done it since I was 18-years-old. I’m 23 now, I’m ready to play. Hopefully people can see that.
“I’m as determined as I was at the start of the season. I’ve never changed my attitude. I wanted to play at the start of the season. It was disappointing that they swapped it around but that’s part and parcel of football. It’s going to happen to anyone. I’m just here to prove people wrong.
“People think it’s easy to do that but it’s not at all. There’re days where you think I just want to be out there. It’s frustrating. Obviously, it makes it all worthwhile, all the work I have been putting in, today.
“Games improve any player. I played the games at the start of the season, I’ve had a few FA Cup games as well. It’s just having people believing in me. I know I can do it, I know I’m good enough. It’s just having the people around you to prove that to everyone. I just want people to trust in me. I know I can do it. I want to play from now until the end of the season and that’s my aim.”
Charlton boss Bowyer has indicated that he will look to bring in another custodian to challenge Phillips for his place, but the Hornchurch-born stopper is determined to hold onto his jersey.
“I don’t know what is going to happen,” he said.
“I assume someone will be coming in. My job is to just prove to people that I’m better than whoever they bring in. It is what it is. Hopefully it’s my shirt to lose and we’ll go from there.”