'Yellow Card' For Chucho

By Brian Cartlidge
Last updated : 21 October 2009

The Ecuador international striker was not back in the UK in time for the game at The Emirates Stadium on Saturday and blamed flight problems as his reason for not returning in time.

Now Benitez has returned, McLeish has had words with the player about his absence.

"The wee man's back, we've had a meeting and he's got the message," the Blues boss has told the Birmingham Mail.

"He held his hands up and admitted that there were some things he could have done better and I gave him a tarjeta amarilla - the yellow card.

"We gave him great support when his father had the car crash and he went off the radar a bit.

"I told him it was very important if we go forward, we have got to have the communication, the respect, the professionalism. For if I was dropping him from the team, I would explain to him why, I would communicate with him. I don't just ignore players.

"It's a mutual respect and I'm not treating them like kids, I'm treating them like professionals and when I had that little meeting with him, I outlined the importance of these things.

"He's not the only South American who has been incommunicado when he's gone back to his own country.

"I can imagine he's seen his all his family, friends. We gave him an extra week and I would just like to think that he will repay us with the performances.

"I did stress to Chucho that the fans have already got a lot of affection for him, despite not quite seeing that much him yet.

"It has been hectic for him, ever since we brought him here. He had that operation on his shoulder in the summer, he's had World Cup games.

"But there's a chance now, with the internationals out of the road, for him."

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