Aston Villa feud takes a new twist as player hits out at privacy breach
By Harry Sykes
Ross McCormack has hit out at Steve Bruce for talking about his “private life” as the feud between the Aston Villa striker and manager escalates.
Bruce was left livid in January after McCormack failed to turn up to training because the electric gates of his mansion were faulty.
The experienced manager publicly shamed the Scotland international for his lax attitude and time keeping, demoted him to the reserves and then sanctioned an end-of-January loan switch to Nottingham Forest.
Villa chief executive Keith Wyness has recently admitted that there may be a route back for McCormack at Villa, but stressed that the final decision would lie with Bruce.
That appears a long way off judging by the latest comments of McCormack, who signed from Fulham for a then Championship record £12 million last summer.
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Bruce has urged the forward to apologise for his failure to show at Bodymoor Heath, but McCormack has yet to submit to his manager’s demands and made it clear that he does not intend to do so, either.
“We’ve had a disagreement but apologising? McCormack said, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail on Friday. “Nobody at the club has apologised to me for talking about my private life. What can I say? ‘Sorry for not jumping over the fence’?”
Bruce, who is renowned for his calm man-management during his two decades in the dugout at nine different clubs, took the drastic decision in mid-January to out McCormack publicly.
The 30-year-old had made little impact since joining Villa, scoring just three goals in 20 Championship matches, a far cry from the prolific form he consistently displayed for former clubs Fulham and Leeds.
McCormack has fared little better at Forest, scoring just a single goal and providing a single assist in seven appearances to date for the second-tier strugglers.
At Craven Cottage last season, the versatile front man chipped in with 23 goals from 49 appearances, including 21 strikes and 10 assists from 45 league matches.
Villa, who face Norwich at Villa Park in the Championship on Saturday, have won five of their last six matches to climb to 12th in the Championship table but are 11 points adrift of Sheffield Wednesday, who are sixth and in the final promotion spot.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, talks are to get underway as a proven Premier League performer wants to join the Midlands club.