By Amir Mir
Ross McCormack has revealed he spoke to the Aston Villa coaches at length about the mentality of the players before his £12million arrival.
The Scotland international was reassured in conversations with manager Roberto Di Matteo and his staff that there was a new-found positivity at the club following their wretched Premier League campaign.
McCormack became manager Di Matteo’s fourth summer signing when he made a £12million switch from Championship rivals Fulham on Thursday morning.
The 29-year-old revealed the discussions he had with the Villa coaches and how Di Matteo believes he has changed the atmosphere among the playing staff.
“”He [Di Matteo] knows the mentality that has grown, I have spoken to the manager and the coaching staff at length,” said McCormack to the official Aston Villa website.
“Everything positive, nothing about the past and everything about here and now.
“He [Di Matteo] said was his biggest challenge this year was to change the mentality. I think last year was tough for everyone, but this year there is a clean slate.
“There is a chance for all the players to stake a claim for a game and a chance to be written into the history of this great football club by helping put Aston Villa back where they belong.
“They said there is a solidarity within the group downstairs and it has grown every time. We need that to keep getting better if we want to do what we plan on doing.”
Villa suffered a disastrous relegation last term which saw them pick up 17 points and three wins in the club’s worst season in their 141-history.
Finding the back of the net was also an issue for the club, with striker Jordan Ayew top scoring with seven goals as the 38-game season saw them score on 27 occasions.
However, McCormack who has scored 116 goals in 309 Championship games will be hoping he can use his experience in the second-tier to help Di Matteo’s side push for promotion.
McCormack will be aiming for a starting place when Villa take on Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday afternoon.
In other Aston Villa team news, the club’s highly criticised defender has dropped a hint on Twitter he may be heading to Leeds.