Scott McDonald is confident that Ross McCormack’s return to Motherwell will ensure Ladbrokes Premiership status next season for the Fir Park club.
The 32-year-old attacker, who played for the Steelmen between 2006 and 2008, last week signed from Aston Villa on loan until the summer.
Stephen Robinson’s side sit in ninth place, seven points ahead of Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton, nine clear of Dundee and 11 ahead of bottom side St Mirren.
Former Celtic, Motherwell and Australia striker McDonald played alongside McCormack and believes his addition to the squad for the second half of the season will see the club stay clear of the relegation battle.
McDonald, currently a pundit and speaking at a William Hill media conference at Hampden Park, told Football Paradise: “I think Ross is a huge signing and I think it more or less guarantees them safety.
“That (2-1) win against Hamilton before the break was a huge win for them psychologically and obviously for their points total it edges them away from the bottom two and also Hamilton so I think they were safe.
“It is going to be a big ask for them to catch eighth and seventh and top-six might be out of reach but it more or less definitely keeps them safe for this season, which was a worry at the start of the season.
“Goals have been lacking and creativity, I think, has frustrated Stephen Robinson this year.
“Ross gives you both of them, goals and creativity and he is a threat at set-pieces, you don’t want to give him anything outside 20 yards as he is ruthless from there.”
McCormack, capped 13 times for Scotland, first joined Motherwell from Rangers before being transferred to Cardiff in 2008.
Moves to Leeds, Fulham and Villa followed and most recently he was on loan at Central Coast Mariners.
McDonald recalled a young player whose potential was evident.
He said: “Ross was an intelligent player, one I enjoyed playing with.
“It was just unfortunate he got struck with an illness when he was at Motherwell but the year after, once he was fully fit, we saw the real talents of Ross McCormack and he went from strength to strength
“I bumped into him recently and he is looking forward to get back playing football.”
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