Nikola Zigic will bounce back from his costly penalty miss against SC Braga last night according to Birmingham City manager Chris Hughton.
With Marlon King on the bench Blues were without the services of their regular penalty taker when a spot kick was awarded for a foul in the box on Wade Elliott in the 11th minute. Zigic stepped up to fill the void but his poorly taken kick was easily parried away by the Braga goalkeeper.
Blues were then made to pay for wasting this opportunity when a shot from Hugo Viana took a massive deflection off Curtis Davies and ended up in the back of the Birmingham net for the only goal of the game.
The victory for Braga has put them into the final 32 of the Europa competition and Blues must now beat NK Maribor and hope that last nights Portuguese victors beat Club Brugge away in Belgium.
Hughton has defended his decision to start with Marlon King on the bench and the big Serbian striker playing up front on his own.
“If it wasn’t Nikola who took it then it would have been someone else,” Hughton said.
“If Marlon had been on the pitch there’s no guarantee he would have scored.
“Nikola’s a good striker of the ball and you just hope when you get that situation that he scores, unfortunately for us he didn’t.”
Team-mate Keith Fahey has also backed Zigic to shake off the disappointment and respond in the correct way.
“Ziggy’s taken it, he’s confident enough to take it but unfortunately the keeper saved it,” the Blues midfielder said.
“He’s missed a couple of chances lately but he showed his character on Saturday, missing a couple and then popping up to get the equaliser.
“So he’ll bounce back.”