Platt: Richard Wright has a bad back from conceding Kolarov's free-kicks!

The Blues coach has hailed the Serbia international’s dead-ball ability but also the hard work that he has put on the training pitch to gain his recent reputation
Manchester City coach David Platt has hailed the ability and work ethic of City’s new free-kick king Aleksandar Kolarov.

The Serbia international scored a stunning free-kick in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Sunderland.

The 26-year-old has also scored two other free-kick goals this season, against Real Madrid and Aston Villa.

And Platt revealed Kolarov regularly stays behind in training to practise these set-pieces, and says he is happy to see the player reap the rewards for his hard work.

25/1 Aleksandar Kolarov is 25/1 with Bet365 to score the first goal in a Serbia win over Belgium on Friday
“Ally deserves the goals he has got in the last few weeks from set-pieces because he has religiously, three times a week, stayed out for 10 minutes and he keeps putting them in,” Platt told reporters.

“Ask Richard Wright – he has got a bad back from picking them out of the goal! Ally has put a lot of work in on his set-pieces so he deserves the goals he has got.”

The Premier League champions are spoiled for choice when it comes to dead-ball situations, with Yaya Toure, Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez and James Milner all having proven to be solid free-kick takers.

But armed with his recent impressive conversion rate, the former Lazio player is widely considered to have first claim amongst players if he is on the pitch.

Platt insists, though, that it is the players and not the management who will decide who takes free-kicks.

“We won’t tell them who should take, because it depends where it is, where the keeper sets his wall up, whether it is close enough to the goal or far enough away,” he added.

“The second free-kick Ally had on Saturday was too close for him to get it up and over the wall. But he is in a good run of form taking those free-kicks.

“In terms of one side of the wall being smaller, Ally would look at that. We don’t turn around and say someone should take it. They know, they can picture it and see the goal going in.”

Platt highly rates Kolarov as a free-kick taker but rates his current international manager - and former team-mate at Sampdoria - Sinisa Mihajlovic higher.

Mihajlovic is regarded by some as the greatest free-kick taker as he still holds the Seria A record of scoring direct from 27 free-kicks during his 14 seasons.   

“Ally rates highly in terms of free-kick takers I have worked with,” Platt added.

“The one I have seen that was probably better, and Ally would admit it, was probably Mihajlovic – but he would probably admit it because he is manager with the Serbian national team at this moment in time!

“Ally has got power, dip, direction as well, but you don't just walk on and do those things. He deserves everything he has got because religiously he has been out there practising them.”