Express & Star

'I was worried what would be said': Former West Brom striker Simon Cox on becoming a Premier League player

Within less than two years Simon Cox had gone from League One hotshot to become a Premier League player.

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Simon Cox in Premier League action for West Brom

However, the former Baggies striker, who appears on this week's episode of the Baggies Broadcast - has revealed how worries over that the media or pundits may say held him back during his time in the top flight.

Cox, who played 30 times for the Republic of Ireland international joined Albion back in 2009 for £1.5 million following a haul of 29 goals in 45 games for League One Swindon in the 2008/2009 campaign.

In his first season at Albion he scored ten times in 34 matches as Roberto Di Matteo's side won promotion back to the Premier League - completing a whirlwind two years for the young striker.

However, despite being excited by the prospect of playing in the top flight - worries about what pundits and the media might potentially say about him knocked his confidence from the start and according to the striker, held him back from flourishing.

Speaking on the Baggies Broadcast, Cox said: "I was really excited about it but I was not ready to go to Stamford Bridge for the first game of the season.

"I wasn't ready for what it entailed to go to the likes of White Hart Lane, Anfield, the big grounds.

"I think the one thing that sort of held me back was what could be said about me.

"It wasn't a confidence thing, it was just about believing you belonged in that division.

"I didn't get into the grove of it and played a little bit here and there, then I would start one, but up to that point no one had ever said anything bad about me as a player.

"I was worried that when I went home and we had lost, it might me highlighted. I was just nowhere near ready for the Premier League.

"If I had stayed in the Championship for another year and scored 15 to 20 goals then I think I would have been ready."

Cox left Albion in 2012 and joined Nottingham Forest before spells at Reading, Southend United and most recently Australian outfit Western Sydney Wanderers, before retiring in 2021.

The full episode with Cox will be available from Thursday on the Baggies Broadcast on Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple.

Check out the first episode of the Baggies Broadcast mini guest series with former midfielder and club commentator Andy Johnson.