Despite the rapid turnover of managers at Craven Cottage in recent years, nobody expected big-spending Fulham to struggle like they have in this season's Sky Bet Championship. And while the £11 million fee paid by the London club last summer, per the BBC, heaped some unwanted pressure on the Scottish international's shoulders, the team's form has not helped his own in a largely unproductive season.
McCormack has managed just 12 goals in 42 appearances as Fulham have limped through their first season at this level since 2001, following the path of a number of other relegated Premier League clubs who have struggled to adapt in the second tier. While McCormack has been hailed as one of the more consistent performers by Fulham fans and management alike, it has certainly not been the move he expected following a controversial exit from Elland Road last summer.
A war of words muddled the true reasons why McCormack left Leeds after a highly-productive 2013/14 season in front of goal, with president Massimo Cellino and the 29-goal hitman blaming each other for the high-profile exit. McCormack's Premier League ambitions were natural and viewed sympathetically by the Leeds faithful, less so his appearance on Sky Sports during the Brian McDermott fiasco of January 31st 2014, which bred a lot of mistrust within the fanbase.
It was therefore no surprise when McCormack eventually left Elland Road, but his move to newly-relegated Fulham raised a few eyebrows. Certainly the expectation was to be competing for an immediate return to the top tier, but movement in the opposite direction has always looked more likely. Fulham sit in 21st position with ten games remaining, but mercifully with an eight-point gap between them and Wigan in the last relegation spot.
McCormack will have one eye on Fulham's plight and another on where this will leave him should the unthinkable happen. At 28-years-old and with a sparse season in front of goal - and not his first by any means - McCormack's chances of attracting a Premier League club have receded dramatically in 12 months.
The Scottish international has been linked with a move to promotion-chasing Derby County this week, speculation that is unhelpful to Fulham manager Kit Symons, but which he responded to positively, telling GetWestLondon "If there is speculation it gives players a bit of a boost, really - and I'm sure that's the case for Ross. It makes them feel wanted. Certainly, Ross is very wanted here. He's never mentioned it, and he's been the same in training and for games, and long may it continue."
Certainly McCormack will continue to concentrate on maintaining Fulham's Championship status for another season, but if they stay up, as expected, it will not necessarily mean that the Craven Cottage club can fulfil his ambitions next season.