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Phillips keeping options open

28 May 2013

Kevin Phillips insists scoring the winning goal in Monday's npower Championship play-off final is the icing on the cake of an illustrious career but the veteran striker is not finished yet.

The 39-year-old converted from the penalty spot in some style in extra time to see off Watford 1-0 at Wembley and send Crystal Palace back to the Barclays Premier League and an estimated ?120million windfall. Phillips moved to Selhurst Park on loan from Blackpool in January but the evergreen frontman now finds himself out of contract and not quite ready to hang up his boots.

"Whether it's my last game or not, I doubt it will be, but it's probably my last chance at Wembley," said Phillips. "I'm pretty much sure I will carry on in some capacity. Where? I don't know."

He added: "I'm just going to go on holiday now and relax. I don't want to be making a decision in the next couple of days that I'll regret. We'll see what happens, I've had a couple of offers already but I haven't said yes or no.

"I'm not daft, if something was offered to me (by Palace) then I'd have to consider it without a shadow. But I've got to make the right decision because of the commute - I'm still based in the midlands.

"But, yes, that would make me the oldest outfield player in the Premier League. It would be a dream, if anyone asked me when I started out at 20 whether I'd still be playing at 40, I'd have said no. It (Premier League football) would be a big lure, let's put it that way."

Banging home Palace's match-winning penalty capped a memorable day for Phillips who, having started his professional journey with the Hornets almost 20 years ago, had previously tasted play-off final heartache with Sunderland, West Brom and Blackpool.

"This has topped my career to be honest," said Phillips, who admitted he had no nerves and opted not to practice penalties in the build-up to the final.

"I've pretty much achieved everything I've wanted to achieve - I won the Carling Cup here at Wembley, I've won Golden Boots, played for my country, I've had relegations and had promotions but I've never won promotion via a play-off.

"I've experienced this game, this is my fourth time in the play-offs - three losses - everyone says it's the best way to get promoted and I didn't believe that until now. It's a fantastic feeling and obviously to have a major part in it is awesome."

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