Elland Road legend Peter Lorimer says United hitman Ross McCormack can only benefit from being named in Craig Levein’s international squad
ROSS McCORMACK has been recalled to the Scotland squad for their Nations Cup matches against Wales and the Republic of Ireland next Wednesday and a week on Sunday respectively and it’s great for him; it will really do his confidence good.
He’s had a season I’m sure he will be disappointed with himself for the way it’s gone – he will be frustrated at not playing much football. But his call-up will have really perked him up, I’m sure.
When you are a footballer, it’s all about confidence, and being selected for your country is the kind of thing that does give you it.
Strikers thrive on confidence. When they are scoring goals, they never think they are going to miss or that the run will end and when they aren’t scoring, they never think it’s going to happen for them!
Look at Jermaine Beckford last year; he was a streaky scorer who would score, score, score and then, all of a sudden, he’d go two or three weeks and then six or seven without scoring. That’s strikers...
People think it’s an easy game, but you are under severe pressure and in the public eye all the time. If you start missing one or two, the fans get restless and you lose your confidence.
After his two goals at the end of the season and this call-up, Ross will be full of confidence.
Most players need a break at the end of the season but Ross has not played the vast majority of games, like many United players have.
And these games will do his fitness levels good. With the matches being at the end of the month it will probably give him a bit of an advantage on the other players when he comes back for pre-season in July.
I look at Ross, who has played in a few attacking positions, but I see him as a striker who likes to play off a targetman such as a Luciano Becchio or a Billy Paynter.
He’s not a No.1 striker, playing up front on his own, because he’s not got the height or power. But he’s very good working off an old-fashioned centre-forward.
What I like about him is that he has a good touch and runs and moves well off a big striker. And he looks to have a shot, he’s not frightened of having a go – some people are frightened to miss.
You look at his record back in Scotland and at Cardiff City and it’s excellent. But he’s just had one of those seasons which has been disappointing for one reason or another – be it injury or things like that.
We also had a good run where we didn’t lose for so many games in the winter and, quite naturally, Simon Grayson didn’t change the team. The lads who weren’t getting a game then, such as Ross and Billy, would have been frustrated in hanging around and sometimes not even being on the bench. It does take the edge of you.
Ross could almost be like a new signing next year because, let’s be fair, his career hasn’t taken off at Leeds yet.
But after finishing the season well in our last two games, which we won, and with the Scotland call-up, he should come far more into the picture than he was last season.
Robert Snodgrass has missed out on the Scotland squad with a back injury and he did play an awful lot of games with it.
One of the worst things a football player can do is play with an injury. To a lot of people, you look like you are struggling and laboured and off form, but basically it’s just that you have an injury.
Sometimes, people who watch don’t really consider that.
I always said the worst thing I did in my career was play when I had an injury because you usually didn’t play very well and you’d have the crowd on your back and then you’d get dropped when you were trying to do someone a favour!
If an injury is restricting you, you should say: ‘I’m not fit. Let the 100 per cent fit player get on with the job.’
Obviously, West Ham are the first team to be relegated from the Premier League and they are a big name. Although for me, looking in from the outside, they have got massive financial problems.
The West Ham who have come down won’t be the side who start next season. I would think most of their big names – the Scott Parkers and people like that – will have moved on.
Everyone does automatically say: ‘Oh, it will be a hard league next year because x are coming down and y’. But, for me, the minute you leave the Premiership – even though I know you get the parachute payments – you have got major financial worries simply because you’re usually paying everyone Premier League salaries.
You are not getting nearly what you would in the top-flight in terms of TV revenue and such like so straightaway all the teams that come down will be under financial pressure and will have to unload their top players.
I watched Saturday’s FA Cup final between Manchester City and Stoke City at Wembley and I’ve got to say that I was a little bit disappointed that they chose to play some other Premiership matches before the kick-off and on the same day.
For me, it took a bit of the glory off it. The FA Cup final is a special day in football, or it certainly should be.
Unfortunately, some of the bigger clubs in the game have made it not the most important competition in the world, which I believe is wrong.
For the Premier League to play three games on the same day as one of our game’s showpiece occasions is a poor, poor showing.
They themselves should pay the competition a lot more respect than they do.