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Blues boss accuses Zigic of 'worst ever' training session

ESPN staff
February 15, 2013 « Pellegrini agent claims Chelsea contact | Chartbeat test »
Nikola Zigic's Birmingham future is unclear © Getty Images
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Birmingham boss Lee Clark has accused Nikola Zigic of putting in the "worst training session" he has ever seen and subsequently omitted him from his squad for Saturday's Championship meeting with Watford.

Clark said Zigic, believed to be on around £55,000 a week and by far the highest earner at Birmingham, is failing to pull his weight and has dropped him for the visit of the Hornets after watching his preparations for the match.

"I witnessed possibly the worst training session in terms of a professional footballer I have ever come across on Thursday," Clark said. "We did our preparation work for Watford and he was in the team and I was disgusted when I walked off.

"I need to tell the fans before the game because obviously the social media network will go into overload because of this. I know he's quite popular, but ultimately he's a very well-paid guy and you've got to earn that, and what he dished up yesterday was, since I've left school at 16 and been a professional footballer, [...] the worst I have ever seen.

"And this is not the first time. This has been coming. Whether he has been angry he hasn't been starting enough games over the previous weeks - that could be a point, it could be valid. But does that mean you just basically down tools, don't try? I think the fans deserve more than that; the football club deserves more than that."

Despite not having Marlon King available for the game against Gianfranco Zola's promotion-chasers, Clark is convinced he has taken the correct decision to omit Zigic.

Earlier in the season, Clark praised the Serbian striker for his attitude in spite of the club's continued attempts to sell him over the last two seasons.

As to whether the striker has a future with the club, Clark said: "That's up to Nikola. I haven't had a bust-up with him. There's has been no shouting match, nothing.

"The decision has been explained. It's up to him. I will be giving him the opportunity to come in for training on Sunday in preparation for Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday - to train properly, to be in consideration."

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