McLeish hails Zarate potential
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has spoken of the great potential of exciting striker Mauro Zarate.
By Steve Pass
Last Updated: 07/03/08 5:02pm
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has spoken of the great potential of exciting Argentinean striker Mauro Zarate.
The striker, who was signed on loan from Qatar side Al-Sadd, has yet to make a start for the Blues as he adapts to life in the Premier League.
But he has excited the fans when he has come on as a substitute, at times running rings around his defensive opponents.
Blues boss McLeish admits the Argentinean still needs more coaching, but has great potential.
He told the Birmingham Mail: "It was definitely worth a throw of the dice bringing him here. No Premiership experience, but by God can he beat a man.
"If we can get him into the last third and do some damage there, then he's capable of making an impact for the club.
"We're trying to get him to play on the last line of defence and get the ball to his feet.
"As I said, he can beat a man, and if you can beat a man on the edge of the box then it opens up space for others or him himself to get a shot away."
McLeish added: "He's got no fear. He's got great belief in his ability. Argentineans have tough mentalities."
Zarate made an impact when he was introduced as a substitute in the victory against Spurs, including one run in which he went past five players before getting a shot on target.
McLeish understands the Argentinean's flair excites fans, adding: "The crowd gave James McFadden and Mikael Forssell standing ovations when we substituted them, but they were also excited by Zarate coming on."
Cameron Jerome came onto the pitch at the same time as Zarate and McLeish believes the pair pose plenty of problems for opposition defences.
"Jerome is also a free spirit and, with space to play in as the game opened up, these were probably the last two Spurs wanted to see," he said.