Cometh the hour, cometh the man…

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Town fan Nick Judd talks up the striker whose recent goal glut has all but ensured Swindon's League 1 survival... 

If Simon Cox isn’t the best striker in League 1, then my name’s Floella Benjamin.

Swindon's No.31 scored his third away hat-trick of the campaign on Tuesday night – the first Town player since Bill Stephens in 1946/47 to score two or more away from home – and helped the Robins secure three valuable points against relegation rivals Northampton Town.

Cox has scored seven goals in Swindon's last three games, not a bad return considering the pressure of Town having dropped into the relegation zone. Cometh the hour, cometh the man…

Cox chests home his third against the Cobblers

It would be unfair to suggest Cox alone has single-handedly hauled Swindon up to 15th place in the table, but that he continues to score with regularity in a consistently inconsistent team speaks volumes for the magic in his boots.

The former Reading striker has now scored 27 times this season, with 24 of them in League 1 making him joint top-scorer with Bristol Rovers talisman Rickie Lambert. No wonder, then, that the attendance of scouts in our director’s box continues to grow quicker than the national debt.

Cox said in January that he wanted to stay after Town rejected a bid from Huddersfield Town, and his decision could prove to be one of the deciding factors in the Robins's survival. But few Reds would begrudge him the chance to test himself at the highest level for the right price next season, if he decided to leave.

The good news for the club is that with each passing week his stock continues to rise. Arsenal great, Ian Wright – who knows a bit about finding the net – described his volley against Walsall as one of the best goals he’d ever seen.

While last Saturday’s highly contentious effort against Hereford - with Cox flicking the ball home despite being offside - highlighted his predatory instincts.

His ability to find goalscoring positions makes him extremely dangerous, and his continuous chasing of lost causes down the channels and tracking back reminds me of Wayne Rooney’s boundless energy.

He’s shares Rooney’s enthusiasm – he often get as frustrated, although he’s not punched any corner flags just yet – and he boasts an intelligence that would demand a seven-figure sum.

"Anyone want a match-ball? I've got plenty"

Such money would go a long way to building a decent side next season, but the question for Town’s board is whether they cash in on their prize asset or invest in keeping him in SN1 for a shot at promotion next season (should we stay up).

There’s no question which option manager Danny Wilson would prefer, although he is in no doubt that Cox could cut it in the top flight. “I can see players in the Premier League at this moment in time, who have had decent careers at that level, but who aren’t as good as him,” said Town’s boss after the seven-goal thriller at Sixfields.

Fulham are rumoured to be taking an interest in our man. And while Jermaine Beckford (Leeds), Matty Fryatt (Leicester), Gary Hooper (Scunthorpe) and Craig Mackail-Smith (Peterborough) have also scored more than 20 goals this season and will be mentioned as other players to watch, Cox’s 27 in front of a midfield that has seen more changes than a Ground Force garden makes him a more effective prospect.

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