Fulham boss relishes McCormack’s big-time challenge against Sunderland

Ross McCormack
Ross McCormack
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FULHAM splashed out big money to land Ross McCormack from Leeds United in the summer – and boss Kit Symons is keen to see the on-form Scot up against Premier League opposition in today’s FA Cup clash at the Stadium of Light.

Symons was not in charge when the Cottagers paid £11million to land the former Cardiff player in the close season, but he is reaping the benefits of the 28-year-old’s form in their recovery from a dreadful start to the Championship campaign under former boss Felix Magath.

McCormack promises to be a real threat to Sunderland, his morale boosted by Wednesday night’s clinical hat-trick in a 3-2 league win over Nottingham Forest.

“Ross, for example, has never played in the Premier League,” he explained, “but, for me, displays Premier League quality, so it’ll be interesting just to see that, how that one pans out.

“We’ve got some very good players and at times play some fantastic football. Getting Kaca (Alexander Kacaniklic) back, who’s obviously got Premier League experience, is good for us, so we’ve got a good squad of players.

“We’re looking to make it better all the time, we try and strengthen as and where we can but I’m happy with the way things are progressing.”

Fulham are much changed from last season, when they won 1-0 at the Stadium of Light on the first day of the campaign, thanks to a goal from Pajtim Kasami. Indeed, Sunderland have undergone massive reorganisation themselves, with Paolo Di Canio in charge for that ill-fated season opener.

Fulham, in fact, are unbeaten in their last five visits to Wearside, with a 3-0 victory in April 2011 alongside two goalless draws and a 2-2 share of the spoils.

Sunderland last beat the Cottagers at home in 2009 and have only beaten the Londoners twice at home in the Premier League era, the other success coming in the final Stadium of Light match in the 15-point season in 2005-06.