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McLeish cautious with Zarate
16 Apr 2008 - 08:25:54
Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish has backed Mauro Zarate to play a crucial role in his side's bid for survival, despite leaving the winger on the bench last weekend.
The 21-year-old Argentinian came on against Everton to net a superb free-kick and secure a crucial point from a 1-1 draw at St Andrew's, with McLeish delighted by Zarate's attitude.
He told the Birmingham Mail: "We can't get too carried away with Zarate and put him under too much pressure.
"He's still learning the game in some aspects. I don't have to teach him how to beat a man, he's a genius in that department.
"But there are other things to the game, the whole team thing, that he's learning and will take time.
"At 21, he's young and to expect him to settle in straight away is a big demand.
"I can't be throwing him in every week just for the sake of his individual skills because I have got some experienced, international strikers.
"The kid is bursting to play and he was disappointed to be on the bench, but I'd expect that because he's got a big heart and he's a terrific player.
"He came up with a bit of magic to get us the equaliser and that point could be vital for us at the end of the season, it could keep us up."