Leeds United striker hailed as Premier class

Ross McCormack scores the third of his four goals for Leeds United against Charlton. Picture:Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Ross McCormack scores the third of his four goals for Leeds United against Charlton. Picture:Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Scotland’s loss was very much Leeds United’s gain as Ross McCormack single handedly ended the club’s run without an away win on Saturday.

In the week that he learned he was being left out of the Scotland squad, McCormack responded in style by scoring all four goals in the Whites’ 4-2 victory at Charlton.

In taking his tally up to 12 goals for the season – and six for the week – the player who recently signed a lucrative new contract joined an exclusive club including the likes of Mark Viduka, Brian Deane, Alan Smith and Allan Clarke in netting four times in the same game.

McCormack’s heroics ended a run of five straight away defeats and ensured Leeds went into the latest international break in a whole lot better position than they went into the last one as they are now within a point of Reading in sixth.

Manager Brian McDermott heaped praise on McCormack’s efforts in the game and over the season so far.

He said: “We’ve been trying to find the best position for Ross because if you give him chances he will score.

“We’ve been playing him more up front now and he’s taken to it brilliantly.

“Is he good enough for the Premier League? Absolutely, but we won’t worry about that yet. Hopefully he can keep doing that for us.

“I’m delighted for him because when Charlton pulled it back to 2-2 it could have gone either way.

“It was a good three points for us because we’ve now got back-to-back wins and go into the international break on a high.”

McCormack revealed afterwards that he had never scored a hat-trick in his professional career before never mind four in a game.

He said: “It is a good day personally and an even better one for the team.

“When I scored the third, I didn`t know what to do because I have never scored a hat-trick.”

The 27-year-old has now netted eight goals in his last six games and stands on top of the goalscoring charts in the Skybet Championship, one ahead of Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes.

Leeds now have a week off due to the international break with McCormack granted a rest after surprisingly being left out of the Scotland squad for their upcoming friendlies with Norway and the USA.

Two United players are on international duty with Marius Zaliukas called up by Lithuania and Paul Green by the Republic of Ireland.

But impressive young midfielder Alex Mowatt will not be playing for England under 19s despite being selected after picking up a groin injury that kept him out of the trip to Charlton and Leeds skipper Rudy Austin has opted out of the Jamaican squad for the friendly against Trinidad and Tobago for family reasons.