Lee Clark 'disgusted' after Nicola Zigic gives 'the worst training session ever'

Birmingham manager angered by striker's attitude in training

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The Independent Football

A "disgusted" Lee Clark has dropped Nicola Zigic from his Birmingham squad to face Watford tomorrow, accusing the giant Serb of giving "the worst training session...I have ever come across".

Zigic, 32, who still earns a reported £50,000-plus per week, has angered Clark with his poor work ethic and attitude at the club's training base.

This season he has only made nine starts and 13 substitute appearances in the Championship, scoring six goals.

Marlon King is unlikely to play at St. Andrew's tomorrow, due to a knee injury, but Zigic will now also be absent.

Clark said: "I witnessed possibly the worst training session in terms of a professional footballer I have ever come across on Thursday. We did our preparation work for Watford and he (Zigic) 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 - not technically or tactically - the worst I have ever seen.

"And this is not the first time. This has been coming. Now, 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. I am an honest man and I need to be honest with everyone.

"And there will be people who disagree and say this is a crazy thing. But what am I meant to do? Am I meant to accept that, just let people do that? All the other players see that. Or am I within my rights as a manager?

"Whatever happens tomorrow, I can sleep soundly in my bed because I know I have made the right decision, in how Lee Clark goes about the football work and his business."

Zigic joined Birmingham in the summer of 2010, moving from Valencia on a four-year deal and for an undisclosed fee.

The highlight of his City career to date being his headed opener in City's memorable 2-1 Carling Cup triumph over Arsenal at Wembley in 2011.