| 6.1°C Dublin

Zigic's stardust lights up Blues

Alex McLeish saluted another crucial contribution from Nikola Zigic after his third goal in three games earned Blues a last-gasp victory at St Andrew's.

The Serbia international has taken time to adapt to the Premier League since his £6m summer move from Valencia, but followed up his strike against Manchester City and winner at West Ham with the only goal yesterday -- in the 93rd minute.

Blues have now taken seven points from their last three games and climbed into 14th spot -- three points clear of the bottom three.

"Ziggy has become a fixture in the team as he's become more aggressive," said McLeish. "We know he's capable of finishing. If we get that type of delivery to him in the box, there's not a lot of defenders who can live with a guy that size. When I saw the goal again, it was amazing to see him towering over John Carew, who is a giant himself.

"That is what the big fella is capable of. He was more aggressive in the second half than he was in the first, when Stoke bullied us a little bit. But in the second we were much more enterprising." McLeish was full of praise for his players in reviving their fortunes in the league and also clinching a place in the Carling Cup final against Arsenal in two weeks' time.

"I have to credit them for their reaction," he said.

Sunday Indo Sport