FULHAM dangerman Ross McCormack cannot wait to test himself against Premier League opposition when the Cottagers visit Sunderland in the FA Cup fourth round today.
Former Leeds United, Cardiff and Motherwell star McCormack goes into the game in high spirits, following a superb midweek hat-trick in Fulham’s 3-2 Championship victory over Nottingham Forest.
“It’s always good to test yourself,” said the 28-year-old, an £11million buy from Leeds last summer.
“It’s the FA Cup and people will say our focus is on the league and climbing up the table a little bit, but it’s always good to go and play Premier League teams and gauge where you’re at.”
McCormack, grabbing the Londoners’ first hat-trick since 2012, took his season’s tally into double figures.
He said: “People always look at the price tag and how many goals I’ve scored and say I was a waste of money and all that, but what you’ve got to realise is that in the positions I’m playing there are different things that hopefully I’m contributing to the team.
“If I wasn’t contributing much the manager would take me off every game and I wouldn’t start. I’m playing 90 minutes nearly every game so it shows I must be doing something right.
“I came here as a striker, I want to score goals, and hopefully this is the start of a good run. Ten isn’t a bad tally when you consider what positions I’ve played.
“If you go back to my first season at Leeds I scored two, so it’s a very good tally compared to that! As I say, hopefully I can go on a run now.”
McCormack bagged his treble in the first 35 minutes against Forest, and helped his side hold on to record a third straight victory as the visitors rallied.
He fired home two fine strikes and got the help of a deflection for his hat-trick marker.
“It’s my goal,” vowed the Scot. “The shot was on target and it just deflected over the keeper’s head. I’m a goalscorer, I’ll claim anything.
“The first two were good finishes just outside the box, left foot, right foot. The third one was a slice of luck as I had the shot and it went over his head, but we’ll take anything.”
On the match itself, McCormack confessed, speaking to fulhamfc.com: “It was a strange game.
“We went 3-0 up pretty early on and then we wanted to see it out and maybe get another couple before half-time, but credit to Forest they came back into it.
“We changed our shape which probably gave them a bit of encouragement; going to a five in the middle and letting them sort of press us and trying to hit them on the break, which we didn’t really do.
“Obviously it was a lot tighter than we thought it was going to be at 3-0 but it’s a good learning curve and it will stand us in good stead if we go 3-0 up again, that’s for sure.”