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Cox desperate to deliver goals and get Green Army back on side

SIMON COX is viewing tonight's showdown with Greece as an opportunity to get the Lansdowne Road crowd back on the team's side.

The Nottingham Forest striker knows there was unhappiness around the ground during the 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Germany, and feels this friendly is a chance to atone for that terrible evening.

"We want to put in a performance for them," said Cox, who is in good form after an extended run of action in his favourite position at club level.

"We'd like them to come out and see goals and for them to regain the faith that we want at the stadium every time we play. Germany was a game we have to put behind us. It was a bad defeat, now let's move on, get Greece in, and hopefully put in a good performance so the fans show the faith they showed for the Germany game."

Cox would also like to show what he can do in a more advanced role. In the ongoing search to find a replacement for Damien Duff, Giovanni Trapattoni has deployed the natural striker in a wide left role.


The player is happy to fill in where he is needed and was pleased with his contribution as a winger when he came off the bench in the Faroe Islands. Still, he acknowledges that the Germany match was a struggle.

"It has been interesting when I play out wide. I try and get the defensive duties right first instead of doing the attacking side, because I don't want to be labelled that 'he only goes one way and why can't he defend?', so I try to get into the game and then do the attacking side and that was the hardest against Germany when we were pegged back a lot.

"In the Faroes, I came on at half-time, and I felt going both ways I was pretty decent. I can play out there, but I would prefer to play up front."

For this game, he gets his wish, after being chosen as striking support for his former clubmate Shane Long.

He acknowledges that he and Wes Hoolahan might end up competing for a similar role in a 4-4-1-1 line-up, but whatever happens, his focus is on looking forward.

Cox was also irked that a decent showing in Torshavn was overshadowed by Trapattoni talk.

"We didn't get the right amount of column inches and plaudits for the win because it was all about the manager's future," he said.

"After Germany, it was not a nice day because of the result but we had to move on quickly. We had to go out there on the back of a 6-1 defeat and put a performance in and we did that. We had to come together as a stronger unit and I felt we did that against the Faroes."

The punters who make their way to Dublin 4 tonight will look for evidence of a renewed resolve.

Irish Independent