Phillips hopes to finally end play-off curse

CRYSTAL Palace striker Kevin Phillips is determined to end his play-off final hoodoo on Monday and become the Premier League’s oldest outfield player next term.

Phillips, who spent three seasons with Championship play-off final opponents Watford, has played in three previous promotion deciders at Wembley – for Sunderland, West Brom and Blackpool – and always finished on the losing side.

The former England international turns 40 in July and, with the prospect of playing out the final chapter of his career in the Premier League, Phillips is determined not to blow his seemingly last chance of play-off redemption.

“I’ve been to three play-off finals at Wembley with three different clubs and lost them all,” he said.

“People say it’s the best way to go up, but as I know only too well, it’s also the hardest defeat to take.

“If I score on Monday, I hope Watford fans accept that it’s nothing personal. But I’m owed a happy ending at Wembley.”