Motherwell’s signing of striker Ross McCormack on Saturday night has whetted Steelmen fans’ appetites for a successful second half of the season, writes Craig Goldthorp.
The former Scotland forward arrives on loan from Aston Villa until the end of the season, providing a much needed boost to the Fir Parkers’ much maligned forward line.
Ryan Bowman – newly departed for Exeter City – managed only two goals for ’Well this season, while Curtis Main has netted only one 2018-2019 Scottish Premiership goal, Conor Sammon none in the league and Danny Johnson top scoring with seven league goals.
So I can see Motherwell gaffer Stephen Robinson’s logic in bringing in the nippy and skilful McCormack for the second half of this campaign.
The player – who cost £11 million and £12 million respectively when joining previous two clubs Fulham and Villa – quite simply offers a welcome contrast to ’Well’s typically ‘up and at ’em battering ram’ threat up front.
Like ex-forward Bowman; Main and Sammon can provide that physical approach in spades, and should benefit greatly from having buzzbombs McCormack and Johnson playing off them.
We can only hope that McCormack’s performances in 2019 match some of his displays in the earlier parts of his career.
The forward was a youngster at Rangers between 2004 and 2006 before a loan move to Doncaster was followed by a permanent switch to Motherwell for an initial spell in North Lanarkshire which ran from 2006 to 2008.
It’s easy to forget that McCormack’s debut season at Fir Park was disrupted by a debilitating illness which kept him out between September and February.
But his second season under new manager Mark McGhee was a largely brilliant one, as McCormack scored 11 goals in a campaign which saw him named as Young Player of the Month for October 2007.
A transfer to Cardiff City followed that summer, with subsequent moves to Leeds United, Fulham and Villa and loan stints at Nottingham Forest, Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners.
In short, McCormacks’s return to ’Well makes the balance and blend look much better and bodes well for the Steelmen scoring more goals from forward areas when the Premiership sides return from their winter break on Saturday, January 19.
Motherwell reached both national cup finals last season and the aim of Robbo and his troops – boosted significantly by McCormack’s arrival – must surely be to secure another run to the William Hill Scottish Cup final this year.
Having said that, Championship pacesetters Ross County will be no pushovers when they arrive at Fir Park for the sides’ fourth round tie a week on Saturday.
If ’Well negotiate that test safely, they’ll be hoping that big guns Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs can be paired with each other and they can land another home draw.
The Steelmen have suffered the agony of losing twice to Celtic in finals within the last 14 months and could do with Brendan Rodgers’ all conquering side being knocked out early this time if at all possible.