Peterhead FC manager Jim McInally has praised the commitment of his winger David Cox, both to the team and to the fans.
The former Annan and Alloa player, who scored five times in 35 appearances last year, has played in every one of Peterhead’s league games so far this season.
He scored on the opening day of the season against his former club Annan and gave a tennacious display against Alloa in the League Cup.
McInally lauded his maturity that day at Balmoor when he faced an Alloa side he had left in anger only 10 months earlier.
Never far from the thick of the action, Cox was sent off in the 2-1 Scottish Cup defeat at Berwick earlier this month.
The fierce winger was also involved in an incident during the controversial 1-1 draw with Clyde last week.
It was when Cox was on the receiving end of a stamp from Clyde’s Ryan Frances that subsituted striker Andy Rodgers leapt from the bench to his defence.
Rodgers received a second yellow card for entering the field of play.
McInally said: “The red card against Berwick was just for fouling, not for mouthing off at the referee.
“The worst thing is when they’re mouthing at refs and getting sent off for that.”
McInally, who stayed with Cox for a week while the two ran a coaching course for school children at Balmoor, is pleased with the winger’s attitude.
He said: “Coxy loves it up here - he’s like The Beatles for Peterhead.
“He can do no wrong, I think that’s why he enjoys it so much, because he gives so much effort and he’s respected by his team mates and the fans.
“Hopefully we’ll get the best out of him soon and all because he’s been playing with a bit of an injury.”
The 24-year-old recently had an x-ray on his foot to find the cause of a niggling injury.
McInally has admitted Cox was in a significant amount of pain when he came off the bench after 60 minutes in the game against Clyde.
But, although his commitent has endeared him to the Balmoor faithful even during a period of mixed fortunes for the team, Cox is not content.
He said: “I’ve not played anywhere near as good as I could have.
“I’ve had a lot of stuff on my mind other than football but that’s something I need to deal with myself.
“I’ve set myself high standards from the end of last season.
“Some of the fans can get on my back a wee bit this season and I’ve got myself booked for silly tackles, but I’ll come good.”
Although a sometimes vocal minority of home fans have chided his performances, the majority have shown the faith in him that saw Cox voted last season’s Peterhead Young Player of the Year.
Not bad for a man who only signed on loan halfway through the season.
Cox has recently completed an intensive personal training course which had seen him training for eight hours at a time before the squad even met for their sessions.
He said: “From 8am to 4pm I was in the gym and by the time I came to training I was knackered.
“I had nothing left in me and then on a Saturday I was done - I knew I could have a bad game.
“Since that’s finished I’ve played better and not felt as tired.
“But you can’t play great all the time.
“Now I’ve got these qualifications I’m going to push myself harder.
“I can play badly but I will always give 100 percent - that’s what it’s all about. The gaffer says work hard and everthing else will come after that.
“You’ll always get that from me, that’s the way I am and always have been.”
Cox is also adament that the squad as a whole is - as many people said before a League Two was even kicked off - the strongest in the division.
“We’ve had spells and you can see the way we play in training, even in warm ups, we’ll move it nicely with one or two touches but then as soon as the game starts...”
“We need to trust each other. If we play the way we can play, nobody will get near us.
“We’ve played everybody now and there’s nobody you’d say were better than us.”
McInally is hopefully that this weekend’s fixture break for Peterhead will have given Cox’s foot time to heal so he can be in contention for next week’s visit of Berwick.