Ab­sent McCor­mack in the money

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Soccer -

It was a year and a bit ago that Steve Bruce de­cided his re­la­tion­ship with Ross McCor­mack was go­ing nowhere, As­ton Villa’s £12m sign­ing from Ful­ham driv­ing the gaffer to dis­trac­tion. He’d al­ready con­cluded that the striker’s fit­ness, time-keep­ing and at­ti­tude left quite a lot to be de­sired, the fi­nal straw ar­riv­ing the day McCor­mack rang the club to say he couldn’t make train­ing be­cause his elec­tric gates had mal­func­tioned and he couldn’t get out.

Bruce, not best pleased about the sit­u­a­tion, drove to McCor­mack’s house and noted that his wall was only 4ft 6in, so he could have scaled it eas­ily enough and got him­self a taxi to train­ing. “It was icy and raining – what if I’d rolled my an­kle,” was McCor­mack’s re­sponse to that pro­posal, which didn’t help. Any way, Bruce had had his fill, first ship­ping McCor­mack out on loan to Not­ting­ham For­est, and, this sea­son, down un­der to Mel­bourne City. He has re­turned to Eng­land, although he’s highly un­likely to play any part in the play­offs for Villa. And if they’re pro­moted, McCor­mack, de­spite not play­ing as much as a minute of league foot­ball for them this sea­son, will see his salary rise from £2.3m to £3m, thanks to his ini­tial con­tract . . . which has two years re­main­ing. The bang you hear is Steve Bruce’s head ex­plod­ing.

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