InterviewTyler Morton and Nat Phillips on successful loan spells, Championship challenges and pre-season plans

By Liverpool FC


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For both Tyler Morton and Nathaniel Phillips, it has been a season of undeniable positives.

Asked to go out and prove themselves on loan, to earn regular playing time, the Liverpool duo have certainly delivered.

At Hull City, Morton showed himself to be one of the best young midfielders in the Championship, the England U21 international impressing during 41 appearances for the Tigers in all competitions.

Phillips, meanwhile, followed up a spell at Celtic earlier in the campaign by becoming a mainstay at Cardiff City after joining in January.

“It’s nice to be back playing games, playing regularly,” Phillips says on Extra Time, which is available to watch on LFCTV GO.

“I can’t complain! I went to Celtic and that obviously didn’t quite work out for a number of reasons.

“Off the back of that, it was really important that wherever I went I was playing regularly and doing my bit. Fortunately, I have had the chance to do that at Cardiff. I’ve played almost every minute of every game.”

Both Philips and Morton have had previous experience of loan spells. Prior to this season, Phillips had spent time at both VfB Stuttgart and AFC Bournemouth, while Morton had impressed with Blackburn Rovers during the 2022-23 campaign.

Both speak positively about their experiences.

“It’s a really useful tool to get yourself off the mark, get your exposure to first-team football and get used to the demands, playing in front of crowds, away from that home comfort,” Phillips says.

Morton agrees.

“It takes time to get used to it, coming from academy football straight to the Championship,” he says. “It’s like a whole different sport in my opinion.

“You’re playing against players who will smash you off the ball, you don’t get that in academy football! But it’s developed my game massively and puts you in a good stead for what you want in the future.”

Of his move to Hull, he adds: “It happened quite late, so it was hard because you don’t know if you’re here or there until the last minute. It’s tough not only for us but for our families too, but it’s football and that’s what we signed up for.

“We got told last minute and suddenly we’re driving to Hull – I’ve never been to Hull in my life – and I’m wondering where I’m going to stay. But that’s part of it and that’s why we love being footballers.”

Both speak positively, too, about the challenges of playing regularly in the ultra-competitive Championship.

“There is a lot of experience, especially, in that midfield area,” Morton says. “I feel like a lot of the players I come up against are proper professionals and people who have played for years and years in the Championship and the Premier League, so you have to be a bit smarter.

“Especially being not the biggest and not the strongest, I have to use my brain a bit more to be quicker and cleverer than my opponent. It’s understanding timing, really, and using your body, stuff like that.”

Phillips adds: “You have to adapt otherwise you don’t survive. You pick things up along the way.

“I’ve been asked to do different things by different managers. Obviously at Liverpool, it is high-pressing football, getting after opponents and trying to play out from the back.

“At Cardiff, we try to mix it up a bit. Sometimes we’ll press high, sometimes we’ll let opponents have it, try to pinch it and hurt them on the break. You have to adapt rather than being one-dimensional.”

With Phillips at the heart of their defence, Cardiff secured a solid 12th-placed finish.

Morton’s Hull, meanwhile, finished the season in seventh place, missing out narrowly on a play-off spot, with another Liverpool loanee, Fabio Carvalho, shining after arriving in January.

“He’s been brilliant, Fabio,” says Morton. “He came in and everyone loved him from day one, because he’s such a nice lad, such a mature lad. He’s got on with everyone at the club and I feel like he’s really shone and shown his ability.”

He adds: “I feel like we had a lot of pressure put on us, to be honest, with the signings we made in the summer and in January. We had a lot of top talent, obviously Fabio came in and had a lot of weight on his shoulders. That can obviously go either way and I feel that we went in a really good direction.

“It’s been a brilliant season not only for me but for Hull as well. People say we have overachieved because of last season, but I feel like with the players and the staff within the club, we were where we should be.”

For both players now, the plan is a simple one; rest up, report back to Liverpool for pre-season and see what the future holds.

“I don’t really look too much to the future,” Morton says. “It’s been a good season, a positive season for myself, but it’ll be nice to get a break!”

Phillips, meanwhile, adds: “I’ve enjoyed my period of playing regularly.

“Looking to the summer, sometimes you can worry and overthink things too much. You can only control what you can control. The plan is to go back in pre-season and just take it from there.”



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.