Wigan boss Bruce ready to play Zaki
Wigan Athletic manager Steve Bruce is not prepared to allow his row with on-loan striker Amr Zaki affect the fortunes of the club.
As a result the Egypt international could be in line for his first start since March 4 when the Latics host Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Zaki was labelled ''unprofessional'' and ''disrespectful'' by Bruce, who fined the player two weeks' wages at the beginning of the month after he was late returning from international duty for the fourth time this season.
However, such are Wigan's problems up front that the 26-year-old could be named in the starting line-up for the first time in four matches.
Mido, on loan from Middlesbrough, is struggling with a shoulder injury while Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega has yet to score in 10 appearances since his January arrival from Mexican club Necaxa to replace Emile Heskey.
''For what he (Zaki) has done, if I had six centre-forwards I would probably go down a different avenue,'' said Bruce. ''But the one thing I won't do is leave the team short. The team is the most important thing for me - and obviously the club.
''So if I have to use him I will use him. After all we are paying him - when he is here!''
Wigan are desperately short of goals, having scored just seven in 14 Premier League matches since the turn of the year.
Zaki's form is linked in with that as he scored 10 goals in 16 league matches from the start of the season but, having been hampered by injury, he has not found the net since December 28.
''If we have an Achilles heel, it is obviously we don't score enough goals,'' Bruce told the Wigan Evening Post.
''It's not just down to the strikers, it's down to everyone - but everyone says the hardest thing in the Premier League is scoring goals. The statistics are there for all to see. Seven goals since the start of 2009 is not enough.
''When you consider Zaki has not scored for a few months then of course it's a problem but I am not going to just put the finger on him.
''It is a thing for all the team, not just the lads up front. It is for the midfield players and the back players, they have all got to chip in a little bit.''