Novakovic stripped of captaincy

Soldo upset with Slovenian striker

Novakovic: No longer captain

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Milivoje Novakovic has been told he will no longer be Cologne skipper by manager Zvonimir Soldo.

Soldo has not been happy with the player's attitude in recent weeks since he showed reluctance to return to the club after international duty with Slovenia.

Cologne had to arrange for a private jet to bring him back to Germany after the player insisted on sticking around for a party organised by the nation's government in celebration of their historic qualification for next summer's World Cup.

He has now been stripped of the captaincy just hours before Friday night's crucial relegation battle at Bochum.

"I have given Milivoje the chance to apologise to me and the team for what happened last week, but he has not taken it," said Soldo.

"I need a captain to be my right-hand man on the field and with whom I share a mutual respect."

Portuguese midfielder Petit is likely to wear the captain's armband tonight as Lukas Podolski is suspended.

And as far as Soldo is concerned, the issue of Novakovic is now over and done with.

"I am only looking forwards," he said. "I expect the team to give me 100% effort and engagement against Bochum."