Western Sydney Wanderers could next month be in the market for a new striker, with former Ireland International Simon Cox pondering returning to the UK for the birth of his first child.
In light of the travel complexities surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, it’s unlikely Cox, 33, would be back again in Australia should he leave the country at the beginning of February.
Wanderers coach Carl Robinson isn’t seeking to force the issue, either way, leaving it up to Cox, 33, to make the call.
But he acknowledges that the club - still to fill the void left by Mitch Duke’s departure to Saudi Arabia - would be likely to seek reinforcements if Cox chooses to depart, a move which would most likely see him split permanently from the club he joined last March from Southend United.
Cox started in the Wanderers’ 1-0 opening-round loss to Macarthur and will feature again tonight in the trip to Newcastle.
Robinson said the striker has a difficult decision to make.
“It’s his first child and it’s not something you’d want to miss,” explained Robinson.
“But I also know the world is crazy at the moment and it’s not as easy as just flying back for the birth and then jumping on a plane back again.
“You have exemptions, quarantines, and travel restrictions - there are Australian citizens who can’t get flights back here. That’s how scary it is.
“It’s a big decision for him and I’ll be guided by him. I won’t force him to do anything.
“It’s his family and his decision.
I won’t stand in anybody’s way, especially when it comes to family.”
Robinson’s own daughter is in Vancouver - home of his former club the Whitecaps - whilst he and his wife are in Sydney, and he well understands the issues of being separated from a loved one at a time when travel is hugely restricted.
“I speak to Coxy every day,” he added. “I have a great relationship with him and I gave him my view, which is in a normal world you’d be back home with your family.
“I know what it means with my daughter in Vancouver at the moment
“We’re all doing a job we love but family is the most important thing.
“It’s a complex situation with his wife in England where she will have the baby.
“With the UK in lockdown and all the quarantine measures in both countries, it makes it a little bit difficult. Things are changing every day.”
Asked if Wanderers would intensify the search for more striking depth if Cox departs, Robinson said:
“We know there is (already) a big hole left by Mitch Duke’s (exit to Saudi Arabia).
“He scored 17 goals and was a key player.
“Simon Cox is fit now and there’s Kwame Yeboah and we can play Bernie Ibini up top as well.
“But we’re always looking and things might change (in terms of bringing in another striker) depending on the Cox situation.”
The former West Bromwich Albion, Reading, Nottingham Forest and Swindon marksman has scored three goals in 13 appearances for the Wanderers and is contracted until the end of the season