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Cap continues to fit for Cox as forward vows to repay Trapattoni's faith

HE'S FIRMLY established himself as the chosen one, the favourite son in terms of international football under Giovanni Trapattoni.

And that's why Simon Cox says he's come to Dublin this week determined to repay the faith shown in him by the Ireland manager.

With so many new faces in the Ireland side for tonight's clash with Greece and some more on the bench it can be hard to keep track of the comings and goings involved with this squad.

But over the past 18 months, Cox has been one constant as the Irish team has gone through peaks and troughs. Consider this stat: since his first cap against Northern Ireland back in May 2011, the Irish team has played 22 games, and Cox has played in 20 of them, a record that no other player can match.

"It's very pleasing for me that I am in the squad regularly. The manager has shown a lot of faith in me. When I was at West Brom and not getting games there the Ireland manager still picked me," Cox admitted ahead of tonight's game, where he starts up front alongside Shane Long.

"I never want to let anyone down but I think that's more the case with Ireland because the manager has been so good to me. He put his faith in me so I want to repay that with my performances for the team when I get an opportunity.

"We have a lot of players eligible who would love to be in the squad. I see guys in the Championship all the time, Irish boys at clubs like Watford and Crystal Palace who can't even get into the squad so it's up to everyone to keep up their form and deliver every time."

For Cox, international duty could mean a variety of roles as he's been used as a wide player and a front man, without much fuss for the Nottingham Forest man.

"If Trap asked me to play at left back I'd play. I have never been one to moan about being played out of position.

"There are a lot of people who would give their right arm to play for their country, so I can't sulk about being played out of position," he says.

After some indifferent form - he admits that he put in a sub-par display against Kazakhstan in September - Cox is proud of the part he played in last month's win over the Faroes, introduced as a half-time substitute for Robbie Brady.

"I came on at half-time and I was part of an XI that achieved a result so I don't think it was that bad. Will anyone in Ireland care if we qualify for the World Cup by playing badly? It's not about performances, it's about results.

"The Germany game was a bad result and a bad night. We know that, so we had to go to the Faroes and show what we're made of, and we did that."

His club form at Nottingham Forest is good, chipping in with five goals for a Forest side which is not far off the play-off places in the Championship, but Cox is a rarity in being off on international duty.

"I think we only have one player, Dexter Blackstock, who's away with Antigua. He enjoys getting away as he gets to spend a bit of time on the beach. You don't really get to the beach in Dublin in November, but nothing would keep me away from the internationals," he says.


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