STEPHEN McManus is confident Ross McCormack will have a huge impact at Motherwell on and off the park in the second half of the season when he gets himself fully fit.

McManus, a first team coach at Fir Park, squared up to McCormack, who has returned to the Lanarkshire club on loan until the end of the season, on numerous occasions during his playing career.

The former centre half had the unenviable task of nullifying the danger posed by the striker when he was a defender at both Celtic and Middlesbrough.

He believes the ex-Cardiff City, Leeds United, Fulham and Aston Villa man, who has been on loan at Central Coast Mariners in Australia, will give Stephen Robinson’s side a cutting edge in attack.

Motherwell have struggled for goals during the 2018/19 campaign and are currently in ninth place in the Ladbrokes Premiership table just above the relegation zone as a result of that shortcoming.

Speaking from Motherwell’s winter training camp in Tenerife, McManus said: “It’s a great signing. He brings a lot of experience and will add creativity in the final third. It is also a fresh face at this time of the year which is important for the club, the manager and the rest of the staff.

“If we can get him fit as quickly as possible he will have a big impact, not just on the team but on the full club. He is a wee bit away just now, but the break in Tenerife will be good. He will get to know how the manager wants the team to play. He will fit into the system no problem at all.

“You win and lose football matches in the final third. He will give us a wee bit of freshness there. Obviously Ryan Bowman has left us so we needed to get another one in to help with numbers."

McManus also feels the young players at Motherwell will benefit from training and playing alongside the 32-year-old, who has won 13 caps for Scotland, in the coming months

“Ross is a top player and has had a top career,” he said. “He is a very good lad as well and is somebody who will fit into the culture at the football club which is important.

“I have played against him on numerous occasions over the years, when he was at Motherwell and I was at Celtic and then when he was at Leeds United and I was at Middlesbrough.

“His career speaks for itself. You can’t cheat your career. There is always a reason somebody has had a good career. Ross has been dedicated, he has looked after himself the best way that he can and has also got qualities, there is no doubt about that. He is a good addition.

“There have been loads of good pros and good players at the club over the years who have set good examples to the young lads. They have helped create the culture at the club that we have wanted. We are demanding as a staff.

“Our group of boys are very good. They are hard-working, they have no airs or graces, they come in every day wanting to improve, which is important. Ross will come into that culture as well.”