Simon Cox: Midfield firepower has taken pressure off Nottingham Forest's strikers
THE firepower of Nottingham Forest's midfield means the club's strikers are not under huge pressure to get back among the goals, says Simon Cox.
The Reds frontman has been an important figure in recent weeks, producing some industrious displays that have been at the centre of their revival under Billy Davies.
Despite their hard work, Cox and his fellow attackers have netted only two goals between in 2013.
But the former West Brom man believes the free-scoring Reds midfielders – who have netted nine goals between them in the last five games – have taken the pressure off.
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Radi Majewski has scored five goals in four games, Henri Lansbury has notched two recently and Lewis McGugan and Andy Reid have each added one apiece, with McGugan coming off the bench to net the winner against Ipswich on Tuesday.
"I don't think any of the strikers at the club feel under pressure to hit 15 or 20 goals this season.
"Obviously we would all love to get into double figures, because strikers are judged on goals. That is how you assess things at the end of a season – you look at your goals tally.
"But, if we are a team who gets into the play-offs or even beyond and, at the end of the season, you have Radi on five, me on five, Dex on nine, Billy has 11, Darius has however many... from a personal point of view, you would not be too pleased.
"But, from a team point of view, you would be happy that people had chipped in from everywhere. It takes a bit of the pressure off, but I don't feel under pressure anyway.
"I don't think the manager is putting any pressure on us anyway. He understands the situation we are in, in terms of the fact that we don't have wingers. We have wide midfielders, but we play fairly narrow, which is a little bit different.
"It is all about team ethic, that we all chip in with assists and goals."
Cox has netted five goals this season – but has not scored in 18 appearances for club and country since November. But the Republic of Ireland international's performance levels have been good and he remains confident of his ability.
"I am very pleased, because some managers might have changed things after three or four games without a goal," he said.
"Managers have every right to change things. But I hope to keep responding to being selected by producing good performances. I believe when I get one or two, I will get a few more. I believe I will get into double figures by the end of the season."
"If I was getting four or five chances in every game and still not scoring, I would hook myself. I would not feel like I should be playing.
"I have gone 15 or so games without a goal, which is tough to take, personally. But I am a team player first of all.
"I have to work hard firstly, to give my team the best chance of winning the game."