Motherwell loan signing Ross McCormack is hoping to inspire the Steelmen to a second consecutive William Hill Scottish Cup final.
’Well – currently on a winter training camp in Tenerife – return to competitive action in a home fourth round Scottish Cup tie against Championship pacesetters Ross County on Saturday, January 19.
“The plan is certainly not to finish ninth in the table,” McCormack – who has joined from Aston Villa until the end of the season – told the MFC website.
“The manager (Stephen Robinson) is looking to mirror what happened last year.
“I think the boys this time last year went through a tricky little spell.
“They had the winter break, came back and got to another cup final.
“Hopefully we can do some of the same.
“But the main priority has got to be the league. We’ve got to look to push on, finish as high as we can.
“But it’s exciting.”
McCormack – who had several options to join rival clubs – said he chose Motherwell as it offered him the chance to return to living in Glasgow.
“It’s really good to be back,” McCormack said.
“There are still some familiar faces, not much has changed apart from there’s grass on the pitch this time!
“I left Motherwell 10-and-a-half years ago. It’s been a long time away and I thought it was a good time to come back, see some friends, enjoy playing football again.
“So I’m looking forward to it.
“I’m pretty fortunate. I’ve seen some amazing places.
“I’ve seen some pretty good cities. It’s been a nice experience. I’ve come back a different player this time.
“I’m not the player now that I was 10 years ago.
“I’m probably a better player, certainly more knowledgeable.”
The 13-times capped Scotland international revealed that gaffer Robinson and his assistant Keith Lasley were key factors in his Fir Park return.
“The manager is very honest,” McCormack said. “There are no hidden agendas, there’s no beating about the bush.
“If I’ve played well he’s going to say: ‘You played well Ross’ and if I’ve had a stinker he’s going to say: ‘What was that?’
“I like that in a manager. I was obviously very close to Las before and these familiar faces around the place mean it’s good to be back.”
McCormack was a spectator at Motherwell’s 2-1 Scottish Premiership success at Hamilton Accies on December 29.
And the forward – whose last game for previous loan club Central Coast Mariners was Down Under in late November – admitted that the Lanarkshire derby whetted his appetite for playing again.
“I’ve been missing the game,” he said.
“I’ve had a little bit of a knee injury but Motherwell have been great. I’ve been to see a couple of specialists to tick all the boxes and that shows that I’m ready to step it up and I can’t wait.
“The big thing for me is just being involved with a group of lads , being on the training pitch, being involved in the banter and not feeling like a spare part of something.
“I just want to be amongst it and just enjoy it.
“To have that two or three-week period (during the Premiership’s winter break) where you can settle in, you can start to get your fitness back and manage your injury, it has worked out well.”