MARVIN Sordell can still flourish at Wanderers – even though Jimmy Phillips admits he has found it tough to include the striker in his first team plans.

The England Under-21 international has not made the squad since Owen Coyle’s departure, his last appearance being as an unused substitute in the ill-fated defeat at Millwall.

It was immediately after that game that Sordell went public with allegations of racist abuse from the home support suffered by himself and a handful of other players as they warmed up on the sidelines. A police investigation was launched, and Sordell was offered support by the PFA, but caretaker boss Phillips insists the young front man is in the right frame of mind to be playing games.

“I don’t think he’ll be the dressing room joker at any stage of his career – he certainly seems one of the quieter players – but he’s been great around the training ground while I have been here,” he said. “But it’s had no bearing on Marvin’s selection, or non-selection in the team or the bench.

“Owen mentioned himself in one of his interviews the other day that we’ve got a very strong squad here. It’s just a selection issue.”

Sordell’s chances have been limited since his £3million January move from Watford, with seven of his 10 appearances this season coming from the bench.

Phillips has chosen not to select him as a sub in his previous two games – but reckons incoming boss Dougie Freedman is likely to give the youngster a shot.

“If we don’t have someone in our starting 11, then we have to look at what options we have from there,” he added.

“We have to look at the bench and wonder who can get us a goal? Who can be adaptable? Who would be better from set plays if we’re having to defend? All those other points come into the selection of subs – but I’m sure Marvin will get his chance.

“He scored a lot of goals in the Championship with Watford and I’m sure if Dougie puts him straight in his team, or his squad, then Marvin will do well. Our role has been to make sure he’s had the extra sessions if he’s not been training or travelling with the team to make sure he’s fit enough to take that challenge when it comes.”