Belfast Telegraph

Zigic on comeback trail

Birmingham could have key striker Nikola Zigic back for the climax of their battle for Barclays Premier League survival.

Alex McLeish's £6million summer signing from Valencia resumed full training on Saturday after a groin problem which has meant he has hardly played since scoring the opening goal in Birmingham's shock Carling Cup final win over Arsenal in February.

But McLeish is hoping he can play some part against visiting Wolves on Sunday, and said: "We're trying to get Ziggy into the squad for the Wolves game."

He added: "It depends on the training session and how he reacts.

"He's been training with the physio on his own and they've been putting him through his paces on a one-to-one basis. But for him to join the full group of players for training is an indication that he's ready to come back.

"Listen, Ziggy was at the best form since he came to the club before the injury.

"In the Carling Cup final, he scored a goal and made a goal. In the semi-final against West Ham, he transformed the game for us.

"He scored the winner against Stoke. His form was that of a top centre-forward at the time.

"To lose him, at his peak, was difficult to swallow. We also miss him when defending set-pieces sometimes. Depending on our personnel, we can be a small team.

"But then we have got players like Cameron Jerome, Kevin Phillips, Matt Derbyshire who are the sole surviving strikers and these are all terrific players in their own right."


From Belfast Telegraph