This was bizarre.
Ross McCormack has confirmed he missed training because the electrical gates at his house were broke.
The Aston Villa striker, currently on-loan with Nottingham Forest, was criticised by Steve Bruce over the incident last month, and reports emerged that the Villa manager drove to his house to confront him.
“In my opinion, he’s not fit enough to play unless his attitude and record of missing training improves,” Bruce said about McCormack, who scored two goals in 17 appearances before being shipped out on-loan
“If he keeps missing training like he does – then that will be the situation. He has just not turned off. The latest excuse was that his gates had stuck but he couldn’t jump over a fence that was four feet six inches high.
McCormack has offered his side of the story, and the Scottish striker dismissed suggestions that he refused to attend training.
Steve Bruce is a hero https://t.co/P0c8Qg9tzA
— SportsJOE.ie (@SportsJOEdotie) January 21, 2017
“It’s a true story actually. But I said I would be running late, not that I would be missing training,” McCormack said.
“That was it, really. I thought I was going to be late. The club said that I could come in at 4pm and train on my own. My gate was fixed around 4pm and I called the club again and told them I could come in and train by 6pm. They said no; they would just see me tomorrow. I never once said that I was not coming in to training.
McCormack also explained why he chose to not climb over the fence, saying that he didn’t want injure himself.
He also disputed Bruce’s claim that the fence was just over four foot tall, before taking a dig at the reason behind the Villa manager’s public criticism.
“I could have climbed over it, but I made the decision not to. I know what would have happened had I jumped over the fence and turned my ankle. I thought I was being sensible, that the manager would think it was stupid for me to be jumping over fences.
‘The fence was icy, it was raining, I had to make a decision and I stand by that decision. Let’s put another thing to bed, when it comes to talk that the fence is only 4ft 6in tall, it is probably taller than me. And I am not 4ft 6in tall.
“One day I was late. One day I missed through being sick. There you go. I’ll be honest, I think I knew the manager was going to say something when we were 2-0 up against Preston and drew 2-2.”
McCormack also said Bruce didn’t confront him.
“He came round to have a look at the gates. He didn’t stop. He didn’t get out of the car.
“You don’t get much signal in the house so I was standing at the top window on the phone trying to get it fixed and I’ve seen him pull up and drive away.”
If that’s the case, Bruce didn’t climb over the fence to prove a point to McCormack. What a shame.