How do you solve a problem like David Milinkovic? Nigel Adkins will have been asking himself that question a lot this season.
The winger was signed with potential having impressed while on loan at Hearts last season, but he has seen just 41 minutes of league action for Hull City.
Milinkovic’s attitude has been questioned privately at the club, with coaches questioning his commitment and his application and as such he has not featured in a matchday squad since August.
Even as the Tigers struggle for numbers, particularly in midfield and out wide, Milinkovic has not featured, instead spending his Saturday afternoons in the gym or playing video games, as his social media account may suggest.
However, on Tuesday night he was given a lifeline. A chance to feature on the bench and prove that he wants to play for this club.
His shirt was hung up in the dressing room and apparently he was supposed to be on the bench to feature against Norwich. So it came as a shock to see his name omitted from the teamsheet when it was revealed at 6.45pm an hour from kick off. Where was he?
From what I’ve heard he turned up late to the game, before disappearing again when he heard the news that he had been dropped from the squad.
The winger was drinking in the last chance saloon under Adkins and in an act of complete and utter apathy he has ensured he won’t feature again while the head coach is still at the club.
While his squad may be increasingly threadbare, I would rather see Adkins name a dozen youth players in the squad over Milinkovic at present, the head coach doesn’t need that hassle, particularly when he’s struggling to name a squad of senior players.
The head coach needs all the bodies he can get at this stage of the season as the Tigers look to climb out of the relegation zone and with players like Milinkovic on board his life is made a lot harder.
It’s all about attitude and unfortunately, it would appear, Milinkovic’s stinks. A player’s success boils down to how hungry he is, how much he wants it and is willing to put in the work. Suddenly it seems apparent why he hasn’t settled anywhere in his career.
If City can get rid of him in January, undoubtedly they will, but it remains a big if. His actions don’t exactly send the greatest message to other clubs so moving him on may prove to be a thankless task.
However, it’s clear that if he remains at the club for the remainder of his contract it will be a long two-and-a-half years.
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