Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
SWINDON TOWN: Cox is 'buzzing' to be back
LEE Cox has admitted his surprise at his rapid reintroduction to the first-team frame at Swindon Town, saying he thought he had played his final game for the club.
The midfielder came off the bench during the 2-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night to make his first appearance for the Robins since a trip to Crewe in March 2012, some 570 days later.
In between Cox was ostracised by Paolo Di Canio, left to train alone in the gym, sent out to Oxford and Plymouth and not handed a squad number at the start of the current campaign - plenty to give the 22-year-old the idea that he would never pull on the red of Swindon again.
“There were certainly times when I was thinking ‘that might have been my last game’, especially when Di Canio was here,” he told the Advertiser.
“I thought it was my last game. I thought he would have been here a long time moving the club forward but it’s just one of those things where you have to stay positive and that’s what I’ve done the whole time.”
Bizarrely, Cox was never informed why he was cut adrift from the rest of the Town squad at the start of last season, alongside the likes of Alan Connell and Jonathan Smith.
Now, however, he has been offered a lifeline by Swindon manager Mark Cooper to stake a claim for an extended stay at the County Ground after his current deal expires this summer.
“There was no reason. It does confuse me but there was a bit of miscommunication when Di Canio was here with me and I just learned to keeping myself as fit as I can,” he said.
“It’s been a long time with the injury thrown in there as well. It’s been a hard five months but I’m buzzing to be back now.
“I’ve got to impress. With the injury taking me out for a good few months at the start of the season it was a bit of a setback so now I’ve got to work a lot harder, after that game I know I’ve got to get a lot fitter.
“I thought I’d been working hard but I need to work a lot harder. I’ve got a bit more to do.
“It’s still early stages of the season. It’s pretty obvious that I’ve just got to impress in every training session and if I get a chance.”
Very little remains of the Swindon Town Cox joined in January 2012 in a £50,000 deal from Inverness.
Of the senior squad back then only Nathan Thompson and Wes Foderingham are still part of the first-team set-up now, but Cox feels the changes have made Town a better place to be.
“It’s changed pretty much from top to bottom, it’s flipped on its head but that’s good on my terms,” he said. “The lads seem to be enjoying it, training is very good, you can see there’s a lot of quality in the team and there are some good times coming.”