By Dominic Toner
Ross McCormack has eyed taking over set-piece duty at Aston Villa.
Aston Villa completed the signing of McCormack on Thursday morning for £12million from Championship rivals Fulham.
McCormack was Fulham’s star man last season and was influential from the deal ball situation, scoring four free-kicks and two penalties in the league.
“From what I’ve seen and heard I think Gary Gardner is on free-kicks so it might be a bit of a battle!” McCormack told the Birmingham Mail. “I don’t know who takes the penalties, but I’ll try and get on them.
“The goal is to get the highest level and for me that’s the Premier League. I’m not a young player anymore. I’m in the prime years of my career now and it’s imperative that I try and do something that I can remember when I finish.”
Gardner has been the main set-piece taker for Villa recently but will face tough competition from McCormack for the responsibility.
Manager Roberto Di Matteo has praised the qualities of his new signing and believes he will bring the perfect experience of the division to the club.
With the addition of McCormack, Di Matteo now has four senior strikers at club with Jordan Ayew, Rudy Gestede and the much-criticised Gabby Agbonlahor all vying for a starting place.
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 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 in contention to start the league campaign against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, as Villa try and secure a first-time return to the top-flight
In other Aston Villa team news, they have handed iconic short numbers to pair whose futures are in doubt.