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Page last updated at 19:58 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 20:58 UK

Angry Bruce lambasts absent Zaki

Amr Zaki
Zaki has not scored for Wigan this year

Wigan boss Steve Bruce has questioned Amr Zaki's future at the club after the striker failed to report back from international duty for the fourth time.

The club have been unable to contact the 26-year-old since he played for Egypt against Zambia on Sunday.

"I can honestly say that in all my time in football I have never worked with someone as unprofessional," said Bruce.

"In Zaki's case it really defies belief from a player who is on loan and trying to earn himself a long-term contract."

Zaki, who scored Egypt's only goal in a 1-1 draw with Zambia, started the season in superb form with nine goals in 13 games, taking him to the top of the Premier League goalscoring list.

But he has struggled to maintain those high standards, with his last goal for Wigan coming on 28 December.

"I really am at the end of my tether with him," said Bruce, who will fine Zaki for the latest indiscretion.

Zaki's behaviour has shown total disrespect to the club who pays him a very good wage and, equally as importantly, to the fans who sing his name from the stands

Wigan boss Steve Bruce

"I am now fearful that if I don't take firm action, it will disrupt the rest of my squad, who - to a man - behave totally professionally," continued Bruce on Wigan's official website.

"Before this latest incident, Zaki had already been fined considerably more than the average person in Britain earns in a year and he will now face another heavy fine.

"This is the fourth time he has not reported back on time from international training.

"I have already fined him the maximum allowed but this just seems to have no effect."

The Egypt team doctor has faxed Wigan a report claiming that Zaki has picked up a hamstring injury and needs rest, but that has not been backed up by the required scan.

"I just feel it's time that we went public on just what a nightmare he has been to deal with," added Bruce.

606: DEBATE
ZAK-ATTACK4WIGAN

"I am right behind my players representing their countries, it is a tremendous honour for the club. This is not the issue here.

"My South American players, for instance, have to go much longer distances but I have never had a problem with any of them.

"I'm sick of answering questions about Zaki's whereabouts and I don't want anything to distract the players from preparing for another massive game for us on Sunday against Everton.

"Zaki's behaviour has shown total disrespect to the club who pays him a very good wage and, equally as importantly, to the fans who sing his name from the stands.

"I think it's time for them to know the truth about the man.

"This situation needs to be resolved as soon as possible and I don't feel it's appropriate to say anything more at this stage, apart from how let down I feel, personally and professionally."

Zaki's Egypt and Wigan team-mate Mido made it back to the JJB Stadium on time.



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see also
Egypt and Nigeria in shock draws
29 Mar 09 |  African
Zaki's Premier League ambition
23 Oct 08 |  Wigan
English clubs target Wigan's Zaki
23 Oct 08 |  Wigan
Bruce hails Wigan's awesome Zaki
29 Sep 08 |  African
Wigan complete Zaki loan switch
22 Jul 08 |  Wigan


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