McCor­mack rel­ishes tough Scot­land tests

Striker braced for ‘in­tense’ friendlies

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEW LIND­SAY

ROSS McCor­mack be­lieves the dou­ble header against Euro 2016 fi­nal­ists Italy and France will boost Scot­land’s hopes of mak­ing a win­ning start to their Rus­sia 2018 qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign next sea­son.

The Ful­ham striker is hop­ing to get the nod from Gor­don Stra­chan to play in the friendly in­ter­na­tional against Italy at the Ta’ Qali Sta­dium in Malta to­mor­row evening.

The 29-year-old reck­ons the meet­ing with the Az­zurri and then France in Metz a week to­day will be the per­fect prepa­ra­tion for their bid to reach the next World Cup in two years.

The na­tional team, who have been drawn in Group F along­side Eng­land, Slo­vakia, Slove­nia, Lithua­nia and Malta, play their open­ing Rus­sia 2018 qual­i­fier away to Malta in Septem­ber.

McCor­mack, who set up Ikechi Anya for a goal in a 1-0 win over the Czech Repub­lic in Prague in March af­ter be­ing re­called from the in­ter­na­tional wilder­ness, is hope­ful he can force his way into con­tention.

“There’s not many bet­ter games out there,” he said. “It will be good for the squad of play­ers that we have to go and see where they’re at.

“I know they are friendlies, but the in­ten­sity will be there be­cause we’ll treat it prop­erly and those two teams are pre­par­ing for the Eu­ros, so they will be very, very tough games. The World Cup qual­i­fiers aren’t re­ally in my mind just now. I’ve got these two games then I’ll go away and get mar­ried in the sum­mer. Then I’ll recharge the bat­ter­ies and we’ll go again at the start of the sea­son.

“When the squad’s about to be an­nounced, that’s when you’ll start think­ing about it. I don’t think in this game you can think too far ahead.

“It’s just get­ting through these two games, hope­fully get a cou­ple of good re­sults, a cou­ple of good per­for­mances and en­joy our sum­mer.

“It’s all about the games that are in front of you. Get through them with good per­for­mances and a cou­ple of good re­sults, en­joy your sum­mer then get go­ing again pre-sea­son.”

Mean­while, McCor­mack, the Ful­ham striker who has been linked with £12mil­lion moves to As­ton Villa, New­cas­tle United and Nor­wich City, has ad­mit­ted he would like to ful­fil his am­bi­tion to play in the Bar­clays Pre­mier League be­fore the end of his ca­reer.

“There is no jeal­ousy there on my part,” he said. “I am happy for the guys who play in the Pre­mier League, but I am a lit­tle bit gut­ted I never had a chance and I am com­ing up for30 now.

“I prob­a­bly only have five, six or seven years left. Hope­fully some­thing comes up, be it go­ing up with Ful­ham or what­ever that gives me that chance.

“I think my game would be suited to it. I al­ways try to see things early. I try to be quite tech­ni­cal so it might suit it.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.