Phillips claimed a goal in each half after centre-back Ian Evatt had cancelled out Joe Mattock's opener for the visitors, who were reduced to 10 men on 57 minutes when Gonzalo Jara Reyes was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Keith Southern.
"I am glad Kevin Phillips chose to come here because he is a master of his trade," Holloway said. "His technique at striking a ball is absolutely faultless and I believe the younger players at the club are gaining from having someone like that here.
"The next few games are vital, they will shape our season. Brighton are playing lovely football, were unbeaten this year and before we knew it we were a goal down and deservedly so.
"We were good enough to claw ourselves back into the game and then dominate the rest of the first half. The interval came at the wrong time for us because we had the momentum and we needed to keep that going.
"The sending off has changed the game though, but I honestly believe the player tried to win the ball and shouldn't have been more than a yellow."