‘That’s what I’m here to do’: Cox lays out his role in Wanderers revival
Western Sydney Wanderers striker Simon Cox says he’s arrived in Parramatta with a hunger to score the goals needed to fire his new side up the Hyundai A-League table.
Cox travelled to Wanderland in mid-January with 134 goals in more than 500 games of English football under his belt.
He’s made one appearance since joining the Red and Black, scoring his first Hyundai A-League goal in a half hour cameo from the bench in his side’s 3-1 win over Central Coast Mariners.
The win kept the Wanderers within touching distance of the top six, and Cox says he’s determined to help the club into the Finals Series by the season’s end with a healthy streak of goalscoring form.
“That’s the reason why I’m here. I’m not here to sit and watch, I’m here to come and play and score goals, and help the team do some good things,” Cox told the Wanderers club website.
“The ambition from the top is we need to make the finals, and if I can help that’s what I’m here to do.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead, it’s going to be tough but I’m really looking forward to stepping out and showing all the Wanderers fans what I’m capable of.
“Hopefully it can bring some exciting times to the supporters.”
Everything has been a quick transition for Cox since his journey to Western Sydney: from arriving at his apartment, to being swept away to watch his new side play and coming off the bench to score his first goal – it’s been a whirlwind adventure with no sign of slowing down.
“I flew in for the Perth game [in Round 15] and went to watch that,” Cox said of his first day in the West.
“It was literally ‘here’s the keys to an apartment, unpack, and out you go to watch the game and meet as many people as you can really quickly’.
“I wasn’t expected to start [in Round 17 against the Mariners] because I’d only been here for a week and hadn’t really acclimatised.
“It was nice to come off the bench and help the boys to three valuable points, and it was nice to get off the mark as quickly as I did as well.
“I found my feet quite nicely, and pretty quickly actually.
“It’s a lot easier for me when you come into a group and they’re welcoming.”
As Cox makes himself at home, a man who knows all about what it is to be a part of the Wanderers in Jean-Paul de Marigny is settling into his new job as caretaker after the sacking of Markus Babbel in January just one day after Cox’s arrival.
The new man in charge has had just one game in his first month at the helm, allowing de Marigny more time to instil his messages and coaching ethos on the playing group.
With a clash against the lowly Newcastle Jets on Saturday night (7:30pm AEDT) – who are also under the stewardship of a new boss in Carl Robinson – de Marigny says the time is now for Western Sydney to mount a charge to the Hyundai A-League Finals Series and beyond.
“We see this as an opportunity now,” de Marigny said.
“We know we’ve got 11 games to go, it’s an opportunity to build momentum for us.
“People write you off; it’s not a bad thing.
“We know what we’re trying to achieve here and we’re working towards that.
“Our expectation from [Newcastle] is they’ll bring a lot of energy and intensity, and we need to match that.
“If we match that then we can play our football; that will give us a platform.
“It’s a new challenge for them [under Robinson], a different voice.
“They’re playing for their livelihood, usually the response is a positive one – not always, but a big percentage of it is – that’s what we’re expecting from Saturday’s game.”
Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets
Saturday, 15 February 2020
Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-Off: 7:30pm (Local) (7:30pm (AEDT)