Cox ready to be unleashed on Sydney says de Marigny

Western Sydney Wanderers marksman Simon Cox is ‘in good shape’ ahead of the Sydney Derby, according to interim head coach Jean-Paul de Marigny.

The Republic of Ireland international striker is yet to start in the Hyundai A-League but scored on his debut as a substitute in the Wanderers’ 3-1 win against Central Coast Mariners in the first match after Markus Babbel was shown the door in Parramatta.

The Red and Black are the only team to inflict defeat on the runaway ladder leaders in 2019/20 and are searching for back-to-back wins against their cross-town rivals for only the second time in the club's seven-year history.

Wanderers will need all the firepower they can muster against Steve Corica’s Sky Blues – who have won 11 of 12 undefeated games since that fateful night at Bankwest Stadium – but de Marigny stopped short of confirming Cox would line-up from the opening whistle.

“Could be, could be [a starter]” de Marigny said. “Not too sure just yet.

“He’s worked extremely hard, he’s in good shape. We feel that he could possibly start the game. He’s got enough in his legs to do that. 

“We feel that, consulting with Andy Davies – our conditioning coach – that he’s got quite a lot of minutes in his legs.”

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It took the 32-year-old only 37 minutes to open his Hyundai A-League account in Gosford last Sunday, but interim coach de Marigny was playing his cards close to his chest ahead of Saturday’s clash at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

“Simon was excellent when he came on,” de Marigny added.

“He had a massive input in the game as every player did. 

“He will definitely be involved in the game at a certain point.”

Keanu Baccus returned to the Western Sydney Wanderers line up in Sunday's 3-1 win in the Central Coast.
Keanu Baccus returned to the Western Sydney Wanderers line up in Sunday's 3-1 win at Central Coast Stadium.

Keanu Baccus returned to the Wanderers line-up last week following a successful trip to Thailand with Graham Arnold's Australia U-23s, who qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The 21-year-old midfielder was subject to speculation linking him with a move to Danish club AGF Aarhus in January but de Marigny insists Baccus is focused on a big finish to the campaign in the Harbour City.

“I spoke to Keanu as soon as he arrived and he’s a mature young man,” said de Marigny.

“He had made up his mind that he wanted to stay at the football club and finish the season on a very positive note.

“He wants to be heavily involved with the Olyroos and, to be fair, I thought his performance on Sunday was excellent.

“He ticked a lot of the boxes that we wanted, he showed a lot of maturity in terms of his responsibility on the ball and his passing game was excellent.”

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