Leeds United striker eyes return to goals after first-team comeback

Leeds striker Ross McCormack.
Leeds striker Ross McCormack.
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Ross McCormack returned to the Leeds United fold in the Yorkshire derby last Saturday and is now eyeing getting back among the goals.

The Leeds striker had scored 11 goals by this stage of last season but has been on the sidelines since September 15 with an ankle injury.

Now he’s back, he’s targeting an improvement on his three goals so far.

But he revealed initially he was just glad to be back.

McCormack, 26, said: “It’s about three months since I got injured and it’s been a long three months but I’ve worked hard with the physios and the fitness coaches.

“The gaffer pulled me aside on Thursday and said I was going to play.

“I played 90 minutes, which even surprised myself a little bit.

“After about 60 minutes my legs started to get stiff and the gaffer asked me if I wanted to come off but as the game went on, I think I got a little bit stronger and started to get more involved on the ball.”

Leeds visit Derby County at the weekend, with Neil Warnock’s side bidding to make it four Championship wins in a row.

McCormack will be hoping his first start in nearly three months can be followed by his first goal since September 1 when he netted in the 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers at Elland Road.

If he doesn’t, it’s a fair bet that his fellow hitman will, with Luciano Becchio in rude health.

The Scot has also been impressed with the efforts of United’s recent recruits – notably Michael Tonge, Paul Green, Jerome Thomas and Ryan Hall – the latter coming on as a substitute on Saturday and providing two assists.

“Everyone knows what Luciano does – outside the box is not his game,” said McCormack.

“You forgive anything he does outside the box – if he gives it away or whatever – because you know that if the ball’s in the box, he’s going to be there or thereabouts, as he showed on Saturday with two great finishes.

“I think we’ve worked out what we want to do in games.

“We’ve got Tongey in there who can pass the ball and Paul Green who works up and down the wing, with some flair on the left in Jerome Thomas and then Ryan Hall when he came on.

“We’ve got a good squad and hopefully we can keep going.”