Birmingham boss Eck wants end to Zarate antics

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is to tell Mauro Zarate to cut out the diving after his antics earned him a yellow card at Portsmouth.

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The on-loan Argentinian impressed McLeish with his performance in what was his first start since being signed from Qatar side Al Sadd for the remainder of the season, as James McFadden was left out after his wife gave birth.

But he blotted his copybook by going down too easily after bursting in between Pompey duo Pedro Mendes and Glen Johnson early in the first half with the result that he was booked.

McLeish said: "I need to speak to Mauro about that (the dive). It's in the culture of the South Americans, the Latins especially. I need to tell him it's well scrutinised over in this country.

"But I was pleased with his performance. He was exciting at times. It was difficult for him to come in under the circumstances with James McFadden having missed out the preparation due to his wife having a baby.

"With Portsmouth having such class players at the back, it wasn't going to be easy. But I thought Mauro acquitted himself well and he's only 20.

"Ideally he needs time to settle in. We probably expect miracles of him but he will cause teams problems between now and the end of the season."

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