Leeds may have to face Wolves without McCormack

ROSS McCormack is a doubt for Leeds United’s important visit to Wolverhampton Wanderers after pulling out of Scotland’s friendly against Estonia.

Leeds United's Ross McCormack
Leeds United's Ross McCormack

The striker has withdrawn from tonight’s international fixture in Aberdeen due to an illness contracted after Saturday’s Championship game between Leeds and Cardiff City at Elland Road.

McCormack, who recently regained his place in the Scotland set-up after a lengthy exile from their squad, made the trip north following United’s 1-0 defeat to Cardiff but he was sent home by new national coach Gordon Strachan after complaining of ’flu-like symptoms.

The bug has cast uncertainty on his involvement in United’s clash with Wolves, the first of two important away matches facing the Yorkshire side.

Leeds will travel to Molineux this weekend under pressure to close the six-point gap to sixth-placed Middlesbrough ahead of Tuesday’s game against Boro at The Riverside.

United’s loss to Cardiff ended their run of six successive home wins and the absence of McCormack would come as an untimely blow with the club’s Championship campaign in the balance.

The 26-year-old missed a large part of the first half of the season after undergoing ankle surgery in September but he rediscovered his goalscoring form last month by striking three times in as many games, including the decisive goal in Leeds’ FA Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Strachan was present at Elland Road to watch his performance against Cardiff having named McCormack in his first squad since agreeing to replace Craig Levein as Scotland coach.

“Ross McCormack’s left,” Strachan said. “He’s got some sort of bug but he made it up here which was terrific.”

Writing on Twitter, McCormack said: “Gutted to be pulling out the Scotland squad ill. Now just rest and get fluids in me and be ready for Wolves.” Manager Neil Warnock was contemplating pairing McCormack with new signing Steve Morison for the first time at Molineux with Morison expected to overcome a thigh strain in time to be considered for selection.

The forward – signed from Norwich City last Thursday in exchange for United top scorer Luciano Becchio and a cash fee of £200,000 – sat out of Leeds’ defeat to Cardiff as the club sought to guard against a recurrence of his injury but both he and left-back Stephen Warnock have come into the reckoning for the meeting with Wolves.

Neil Warnock said: “I’m looking forward to Steve Morison and he would have made a difference (against Cardiff). I didn’t feel it was right to play him or Stephen Warnock on Saturday but we’ve got a full week of training and I’d be very surprised if they’re not in contention against Wolves.”

Leeds are coming up against a Wolves side who were widely tipped for promotion at the start of the season but lie two points above the relegation places after a run of seven games without a win.

Wanderers midfielder Dave Edwards eloquently laid the current situation at Molineux bare, saying: “We’re definitely in a relegation battle at the moment.

“We know the situation we’re in and we know we’re not too good to go down – we’re not invincible.

“It’s vital that we start putting wins on the board.”