sport

McCormack wants promotion

Ross McCormack says he is desperate to be playing Premier League football, but wants to do so having captained Leeds United to promotion.

The 27-year-old, who joined from Cardiff in 2010, is the Championship's leading goalscorer after hitting 28 goals despite his side struggling in the bottom half of the table for the last few months of the season.

McCormack penned a new contract last summer to keep him at Elland Road until 2017, but he has been the subject of interest from a host of top-flight clubs since, with West Ham and Cardiff both said to have been chasing him in the January transfer window.

However, the Scotland international insists he has got something special at Leeds and he wants to take that to the next level as soon as he can.

"There's no point in me sitting here saying that I don't want to play in the Premier League, because I do. I want to play there as soon as possible, but in my head there's a lot to take into consideration," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"I think about the feeling of being at Elland Road on the last day of the season, winning promotion and being captain. That would surpass just playing in the Premier League for any old club, and I don't say that lightly.

"I've had something quite special here, something I've never really had before. I'm comfortable and happy and that comes from knowing you've got a manager in place who believes in you."

The future of United boss Brian McDermott, who was sacked and then reinstated by new owner Massimo Cellino in January, remains uncertain, but McCormack has been vocal in his support.

"A manager believing in you doesn't mean he uses you a bit or says good things about you in the press. It means that if you have a bad game, you know you'll start the next one," he said.

"Too many bad games and you'll get dropped, that's football, but you're not going to be pushed aside unfairly or made a scapegoat of. It makes a difference to how you feel and how freely you play. It's made a difference to me."

Having finally received approval from the Football League to take control of the club last month, Cellino is due to talk to McDermott regarding his future and McCormack hopes he gets an opportunity to prove himself.

"Everyone knows what I think of him," he said.

"The manager deserves a chance. People from the outside don't see it but when you're managing of a club, you need a one-man band running it - someone you can turn to and get an answer from instantly.

"Under this guy (Cellino), I hope it'll be recognised that in a settled environment, the manager's proven he can win the league. He's got to be given a chance to do his job properly, get his own players and put his stamp on the team. He deserves that at least."

Cellino has been outspoken since his purchase of a 75 per cent stake in the club through Eleonora Sport.

The Italian has claimed that it will take until 2016 to achieve promotion with Leeds, although McCormack is hopeful of doing it next year.

"It's really up to the owner to show his hand now and let everyone see what his plans for next season are.

"Because if the quotes from him are right and he's said he doesn't expect promotion next year, that's not something us as players want to hear or hang around for. At the end of the day, you want to go up and be part of a promotion here."