By Amir Mir

Ross McCormack faces a battle to convince manager Steve Bruce that he is part of his long-term plans at Aston Villa, according to a report.

The Mirror claim the 30-year-old striker is facing a battle to save his career with the second-tier side just four months into his £12million move from Fulham in the summer.

The deal broke the Championship record at the time before it was beaten soon after when Villa shelled out £15million on striker Jonathan Kodjia.

McCormack, who has started only two games under new manager Bruce, has scored two goals in 14 appearances in all competitions this season after signing a lucrative four-year deal in the summer.

It said said the Scotsman has to convince Bruce that he is part of his future plans as the promotion expert looks to re-balance his squad.

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The former Premier League manager, who has funds to spend in January from owner Tony Xia, has admitted that his squad is “unbalanced” in the striker department.

Villa have Jordan Ayew, Kodjia, Gabby Agbonlahor, Rudy Gestede and McCormack as attacking options and, as reported by the Mirror, Bruce wants to prioritise a defensive midfielder when the transfer window re-opens in January

McCormack’s last appearance for the Midlands side came during the 2-1 win against Blackburn, where he missed an open goal, but luckily for him he was ruled offside.

Despite his struggles this season, McCormack has a very healthy record in the second-tier, scoring 118 goals in 319 appearances, including 21 in 45 Championship games for a struggling Fulham side last term.

Football Insider verdict: 

Villa must keep hold of former Scotland international McCormack as he holds a highly impressive record in the second-tier. Kodjia, Ayew and winger Albert Adomah are set miss a number of key fixtures for the club in January and February as they head off to the African Cup of Nations. This will allow McCormack to be more of a focal point for Bruce’s side. He has started only one game as a centre-forward this term, which has not allowed him to showcase his best skills, nor show any consistency. 

In other Aston Villa transfer news, former player Chris Sutton is convinced the club will be promoted this season.