Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has revealed that striker Ross McCormack missed training because the electric gates to his house were stuck and would not open.
A furious Bruce has insisted he will refuse to play McCormack until his attitude improves after losing his patience with the summer signing from Fulham.
McCormack moved to Villa Park in a £12 million deal but is without a goal since Boxing Day, with his coach frustrated by his apparent lack of commitment and match fitness.
"In my opinion, he’s not fit enough to play unless his attitude and record of missing training improves," Bruce told reporters. "If he keeps missing training like he does, then that will be the situation.
"He has just not turned off. The latest excuse was that his gates had stuck but he couldn't jump over a fence that was four feet six inches high.
"There has been too much indiscipline at this club for way too long."
McCormack has managed just three goals so far this season and Bruce admitted he was so fed up that he had abandoned his usual policy of not discussing disciplinary issues with the media.
"Not in 20 years of management have I gone down this road of publicly shaming a player but I have to make a stand because I won’t put up with it," he added. "Not on my watch.
"I ask only one thing. When I tell them they are in, everyone else is in. How can I pick him when he doesn't want to come training?
"It's happened more than once. Everyone can have an excuse for one occasion but when it is more than that I will not accept it."