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Town fan Nick Judd talks up the striker whose recent goal glut has all but ensured Swindon's League 1 survival...
If Simon Cox isn’t the best striker in League 1, then my name’s Floella Benjamin.
Swindon's No.31 scored his third away hat-trick of the campaign on Tuesday night – the first Town player since Bill Stephens in 1946/47 to score two or more away from home – and helped the Robins secure three valuable points against relegation rivals Northampton Town.
Cox has scored seven goals in Swindon's last three games, not a bad return considering the pressure of Town having dropped into the relegation zone. Cometh the hour, cometh the man…
Cox chests home his third against the Cobblers
It would be unfair to suggest Cox alone has single-handedly hauled Swindon up to 15th place in the table, but that he continues to score with regularity in a consistently inconsistent team speaks volumes for the magic in his boots.
The former Reading striker has now scored 27 times this season, with 24 of them in League 1 making him joint top-scorer with Bristol Rovers talisman Rickie Lambert. No wonder, then, that the attendance of scouts in our director’s box continues to grow quicker than the national debt.
Cox said in January that he wanted to stay after Town rejected a bid from Huddersfield Town, and his decision could prove to be one of the deciding factors in the Robins's survival. But few Reds would begrudge him the chance to test himself at the highest level for the right price next season, if he decided to leave.
The good news for the club is that with each passing week his stock continues to rise. Arsenal great, Ian Wright – who knows a bit about finding the net – described his volley against Walsall as one of the best goals he’d ever seen.
While last Saturday’s highly contentious effort against Hereford - with Cox flicking the ball home despite being offside - highlighted his predatory instincts.
His ability to find goalscoring positions makes him extremely dangerous, and his continuous chasing of lost causes down the channels and tracking back reminds me of Wayne Rooney’s boundless energy.
He’s shares Rooney’s enthusiasm – he often get as frustrated, although he’s not punched any corner flags just yet – and he boasts an intelligence that would demand a seven-figure sum.
"Anyone want a match-ball? I've got plenty"
Such money would go a long way to building a decent side next season, but the question for Town’s board is whether they cash in on their prize asset or invest in keeping him in SN1 for a shot at promotion next season (should we stay up).
There’s no question which option manager Danny Wilson would prefer, although he is in no doubt that Cox could cut it in the top flight. “I can see players in the Premier League at this moment in time, who have had decent careers at that level, but who aren’t as good as him,” said Town’s boss after the seven-goal thriller at Sixfields.
Fulham are rumoured to be taking an interest in our man. And while Jermaine Beckford (Leeds), Matty Fryatt (Leicester), Gary Hooper (Scunthorpe) and Craig Mackail-Smith (Peterborough) have also scored more than 20 goals this season and will be mentioned as other players to watch, Cox’s 27 in front of a midfield that has seen more changes than a Ground Force garden makes him a more effective prospect.
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Jermaine Beckford is the most exciting forward in League Un.
Nice write up Juddie.
Also, nice link to my Youtube video. Shame it's such poor quality though.
And Fabrecass (?), Beckford is certainly not the most exciting forward in League One. Cox is without any argument.
As a fellow Swindon fan Nick I share your raptures over Coxy, and the realism that this summer has to be the time we cash in, right now he is hot and there are plenty of clubs willing to part with good money for him now, he truly doesnt need another season at League One level and surely he is worth the gamble from a decent Championship side - lets just pray its not Drizzle City who come in for him
However, I dont subscribe to a number of our fans who cite Coxy as the sole reason for us dragging ourselves out of the bottom 3 and looking a good bet to stay up.
Hal Robson Kanu, Gordon Greer and Owain Tudur-Jones (who does sound as if he should be mounted on a white charger rescuing damsels in distress rather than playing football) have all proved highly effective signings. All three look totally comfortable at this level and give us a solid backbone to the side that we just were not getting with Aljofree, Ifill, and Pook etc earlier in the season.
I am convinced Robson Kanu will play bith at the highest league level, and internationally in the next 2-3 years, but I am not convinced Coxy will.
Last time we had a loanee that showed the pace, style, class, and vision Robson-Kanu does, it was James Milner.
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