Con returns serve on Ljubo

LJUBO Milicevic faces a club sanction after his latest outburst, but Jets owner Con Constantine insisted yesterday that he intended to sell the outspoken defender, not sack him.Constantine also dismissed Milicevic's status as a self-proclaimed players' advocate, saying the players "wouldn't piss on Ljubo if he was on fire".In what has become a regular occurrence since his arrival in February, Milicevic launched a stinging attack on the club and Constantine in yesterday's Herald over the way they had handled out-of-contract midfielder Kaz Patafta.The volatile centre-back also questioned the owner's motives in an expletive-riddled spray and virtually dared the club to sack him."He wants to be sacked so he can be seen as a martyr, but he will never be sacked he will be sold," Constantine said, adding that the club had received an offer from Asia."What hurts me most is that he is talking to the fans, telling them he is doing this for the players."The players wouldn't piss on Ljubo if he was on fire."The boy has problems. He needs to get his act together, put a Band-Aid over his mouth, or no one will touch him."When you piss on the system it gets wet. When the system pisses on you, you drown."He is heading that way."He would have lasted five minutes if he was in Italy and two minutes in Greece."Milicevic, 28, is contracted with the Jets until March 31, but the round-of-16 Asian Champions League battle against Pohang in Korea on June 24 is almost certain to be his final game for the club."I will be here for the next game,' Milicevic said."During June everyone is sorting out their squads."They have to figure out who is leaving before they bring players in. Throughout this month it will become a little clearer and I back myself to get offers in July."Asia is my last option. I am 28 and believe I still have many years in Europe. I have not hit my peak. I feel super-fresh and motivated."I had a bit of time off, which I needed. I have readjusted, refocused and I am playing better than ever. My mind is more settled and clearer than ever."Milicevic's hopes of returning to Europe would hinge on the Jets agreeing to a transfer fee."We can't have Ljubo trying to run this club and tell us what to do," Constantine said."If we have to, we will keep him outside the square and watching inside."Constantine also confirmed the Jets would make an offer to Patafta, whose contract expired on Sunday.Milicevic left training early yesterday with the flu, which he blamed on having a massage outdoors after training, a situation he has complained about previously.When contacted by The Herald he said Jets management had not approached him over his comments.But chief executive John Tsatsimas said the club would take action."His comments will be dealt with in-house and a suitable sanction imposed," Tsatsimas said."Under our code of conduct there are a variety of sanctions that we could apply, from fines, suspension and standing him down."We need to meet with Ljubo and take it from there."Star striker Joel Griffiths was fined previously for disparaging comments over the club's recruitment.Jets coach Gary van Egmond, who has been involved in a training-ground bust-up with Milicevic, said his focus was purely on preparing the team for the clash against Pohang."We have been hit with quite a bit of adversity during my time here and the boys have responded fantastically to it," van Egmond said."There is no difference now. Everyone is focused on doing the job in Korea and getting through to the quarter-finals."On Milicevic, he offered: "Again Ljubo has to be a little bit smarter with what he gets himself involved in."He is getting himself involved in areas which really do not concern him."As far as the recruitment of players and welfare of players, he may feel that he wants to help the players in trying to find out what the outcome is, but there are probably better ways of doing it."But the coach also said Milicevic's place in the team for Pohang was safe."There is no doubt in anyone's mind that we are a better team with Ljubo playing in the middle of defence," he said."There is no doubt whatsoever, but you have all the other distractions in and around Ljubo which sometimes take the gloss off that a little bit."We have to keep working on managing the whole of the football team, not just Ljubo, to ensure everyone does keep their focus and does the best they can against Pohang."

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