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I've more to give

SIMON COX has promised to deliver for Ireland if given a chance against Germany next Friday even though he fluffed his lines during his audition against Kazakhstan last month.

Cox was making only his fourth competitive start for Ireland in Astana in the opening game of the World Cup qualifiers but the Nottingham Forest man admits that what followed was below par for him and for his team-mates.

For the first time in a long while Giovanni Trapattoni will come to Dublin and assemble his squad over the weekend with an open mind as to his line-up and formation for the game with Germany as players like Cox, James McCarthy, Andy Keogh and James McClean all have a chance of starting against the Germans.

Cox started the game in Astana but had an ineffective 57 minutes before he was replaced by Kevin Doyle, who went on to save the day for Ireland by nabbing the winner.

"Personally the Kazakhstan game didn't go too well for me," Cox told the Evening Herald. "There were a few factors. I'm not a fan of artificial pitches and the one in Astana wasn't great; my record on artificial pitches is not great.

"I have played better and the team can play better but it was a case of going there, getting the three points and getting back on the plane with those three points.

"The way the win came about wasn't ideal and as a team we could have played a lot better, but I'm happy if we play badly and get the three points.

"There is more to come from me and if I get a chance against the Germans I will give more than I did against Kazakhstan," he added.

It's impossible to predict what side and formation Trapattoni will go with for the game against Germany as the Ireland boss, so rigid in his tactics and formation in his four years in charge of the team, has experimented slightly in recent times, and Cox says that the squad are now more capable of playing in different formations.

"It's going to be so hard to get a result against Germany no matter what formation we play. I think we have shown in the last few games that we can switch. We can start with a 4-4-2 but adapt during the game if we need to, we can't just be stuck in one formation," he admits.

"We are trying things at Forest, being able to switch formation during the game as it forces the opposition to keep guessing and if you have that ability it's a great thing to have on your side.

"Our manager, Sean O'Driscoll, is trying to get us to do that at the club. If you're just a 4-4-2 team you become easy to play against because the other team know what to expect from you.

"But if you start with 4-4-2 and then play three at the back after 25 minutes, it can throw the opposition and upset them, it may give you an edge. Being able to change can only be good for the team.

"I have had to change positions in the last few games but once I am picked I don't care where I play. I am happy to be out wide, in the middle, playing off the striker or up front on my own, wherever it is I am happy just to play and that attitude goes through the team.

"If I had a choice I would play off the main striker as I think I can do a job there, maybe the role that James McClean played against Serbia, the manager could push me in there and play James out wide or the other way around."

While Germany's players starred in the Champions League this week, Cox and international team-mates like Andy Keogh and Kevin Doyle are left playing in England's second tier, but not for long, he hopes.

It was a gamble for Cox to leave the life of a top-flight player at West Brom and drop down to Forest but he's sure he did the right thing

"I have thoroughly enjoyed it since I made the move. I know it was the right thing to do and I don't regret it for a minute," he explained.

"I know it's been a while since Forest were in the Premier League but it's such a massive club in terms of the history, the first day at the training ground you're hit with that, the European Cups and all the other trophies.

"I don't think a club like Forest will ever be European champions again but we can get back into the Premier League and that's still the aim. I have been in the Premier League as a player and of course I want to get back there again, but every person at this club, from the chairman through to the players and fans, wants to see Forest in the Premier.

"I have started pretty well here at Forest. It makes it easier for you to settle in when you score a couple of goals early on, I've done that and had a few assists as well. But this is a strange league, we haven't won in a few games now but if we got two wins in a row we'd shoot up the table."


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