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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Axed Zigic set for Birmingham recall

Nikola Zigic could return for Birmingham when they play Sheffield Wednesday this week after being dropped from the squad to face Watford by manager Lee Clark.

Clark accused the Serbian striker of "possibly the worst training session in terms of a professional footballer I have ever come across" last week and axed him from the 4-0 home defeat to the Hornets on Saturday.

But as he prepared his team to face the improving Owls on Tuesday, Clark said Zigic had made an impact in the training session that had followed the Watford setback.

He said he did not regret leaving Zigic out of the squad to face Gianfranco Zola's high-fliers and had always intended to restore him to the fold if he demonstrated the desired improvement.

Clark, who did not take training on Sunday as he analysed Tuesday's opponents, said: "I'll be having a chat with Nikola. He trained very well on Sunday, by all accounts from the staff and what I have seen on his GPS stats.

"He has really worked harder than any player. I will have a conversation with him, and we'll see where we go.

"Hopefully he'll be involved, and he'll make us win the game. But it's been a tough few days, I've got to say.''

Clark will also welcome back Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Fahey, who has been on compassionate leave since mid-November.

The player has been doing fitness work with his local club in Ireland, Shamrock Rovers, and Clark explained: "Our objective now is, without risking injury, to get him back quickly and as safely as possible.

"Whether that's two weeks, four weeks, a couple of development games, we can get him to the level where he can be what he is - a big influence on the team.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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