Zigic gets short break
Birmingham new boy Nikola Zigic has been told that he will not get much time off after the World Cup.
Last Updated: 07/07/10 11:59am
Nikola Zigic has been told that he will not get much time off after the World Cup as Alex McLeish looks to prepare the striker for the rigours of the Premier League.
Zigic, who agreed a deal to join Birmingham from Valencia earlier in the summer, has been on international duty until recently with Serbia.
But unlike many of the players that have been in South Africa, Zigic will not be given an extended holiday.
He is to link up with his new team-mates next Monday in time for a pre-season tour of Hong Kong and China beginning on 14th July.
Blues manager McLeish believes the 29-year-old should still be fresh because he did not feature regularly for Valencia last season.
"He certainly didn't play as many games as the lads in our squad last season when, for a long time, we fielded virtually an unchanged team," said McLeish, who splashed out £6million on Zigic.
"He should be fine and in any case we've got to get him up to a level of fitness where he's ready for the Premier League."
Rough and tough
At 6ft 8in, Zigic adds an extra dimension to Birmingham's forward line and will pose an aerial threat for Premier League defenders.
But McLeish recognises that it could still be difficult for his new recruit to adapt to the physical nature of English football.
"We will be showing Nikola some of the footage from last season which should give him a good insight into what he should expect," McLeish added.
"The Premier League is rough, tough and, while Nikola is a big lad, the Premier League is hard in terms of aggression and that different style of football."