McLeish praises Zigic show
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish praised Nikola Zigic after scoring his second goal for the club.
By Mike Barton
Last Updated: 23/10/10 8:08pm
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish praised the performance of striker Nikola Zigic after scoring his second goal in two games for the club.
The Serbian international scored the Blues' second goal in their 2-0 victory over Blackpool at St Andrews after pouncing on Charlie Adam's mistake to tap home and all but seal victory in the 56th minute.
Zigic had struggled to make an impact since joining the Midlands outfit from Valencia in the summer for around £6million, often looking sluggish in games and struggling to fit in.
However his goal, coupled with a good performance from fellow new boy Alexander Hleb in attack, gave McLeish the belief that they are now seeing the value in signing the giant forward.
"He's much fitter and looking much sharper, but nothing helps a striker more than scoring a goal, and I'm sure Nikola will score more goals for us and cause some problems," McLeish said of the 30-year-old.
"If he paves the way for others to score then that is important as well, so the big fella is on his way to full fitness.
"(Garry) O'Connor wasn't ready a few weeks ago but he's looking much sharper now and Matt Derbyshire is now up to a state of fitness and Kevin Phillips is always there for us.
"Today we took a bit of a gamble with Hleb off the front as well, playing a bit of a diamond given that Blackpool switch the ball superbly, but we coped well."
The result saw the Blues end a run of six games without a win in the Premier League, with McLeish's side starting the day fourth from bottom.
However, the Scot was pleased to see that run come to an end, and was confident his side could kick on and get into a good run of form
"It's difficult to come across Premier League points, especially when you're on a little run where things don't seem to be going for you," he added.
"But we know at any given time every team in the league will suffer setbacks.
"Decisions go against them, results go against them and you've just got to keep striving, keep your cool, and make sure your next game is the one that's to your advantage.
"We've got a good presence in there and we've scored some goals from set-pieces and we believe we can do that all season."