Ross McCormack celebrates scoring for Aston Villa. He is set for his Melbourne City debut on Friday night.
Ross McCormack celebrates scoring for Aston Villa. He is set for his Melbourne City debut on Friday night. Stu Forster

Melbourne City boss unfazed by McCormack's past

WARREN Joyce only cares about the attitude Ross McCormack shows at Melbourne City, not the reputation the striker comes to Australia with.

And the new City boss also says he does not buy into the marquee tag attached to Marcin Budzinski, insisting the unheralded Polish midfielder will receive no special treatment.

City launches the A-League season at AAMI Park Friday night, taking on Brisbane in Joyce's first game in charge.

After a broad search to replace injured striker Bruno Fornaroli (broken ankle), McCormack arrived on Saturday and Joyce confirmed the Scottish international will start.

But with Tim Cahill (Socceroos) and Fernando Brandan (knee) also unavailable, just who else might feature for City tonight remains a mystery with new arrivals Budzinski, Scott Jamieson, Bart Schenkeveld, Iacapo La Rocca, Stefan Mauk and Marcelo Carrusca also in the mix.

McCormack was a $20 million signing for Aston Villa last season but fast fell out of favour, infamously missing training at one point because his driveway gates allegedly failed to open.

But personal issues off the field may have also played a part in the form slump.

"I wouldn't judge a book by its cover," Joyce said.

"I wouldn't believe everything you read in the papers and everything you read on Twitter.

"So for me, those things don't concern me.

"What concerns me is when you're actually talking to people, when you're looking them in the eye, when you're seeing what they do on the training ground.

"There are a lot of people out there that like to write bad things about people.

"All that matters to me is actions. Hollow words don't mean anything."

Tonight will also be Budzinski's first competitive outing for City, but Joyce was less than certain on whether he will start as he builds his fitness.

And the one-time Polish youth international is also not having any extra expectation heaped upon him by his coach.

"The whole title of marquee or non-marquee doesn't really fit with me," Joyce said.

"To me, he's just a player at our football club who has got to train well every day and show a level of consistency.

"And if you see that then you've got a good chance of seeing it in the games. And if you don't then you don't play.

"The pressures that other people put on it, or that tag of marquee, it means nothing inside the club."