Cox steps out of shadows at Swindon to assist Plymouth Argyle's mission
Lee Cox has gone from being an 'outcast' at Swindon Town to part of a Plymouth Argyle squad fighting to stay in the Football League.
The 22-year-old midfielder made his debut for the Pilgrims in their 2-1 npower League Two victory over fellow strugglers Aldershot Town at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.
It came only a day after Cox had completed a loan move from Swindon until the end of the season. Cox has not figured in the first-team plans at the Wiltshire club this term, and has not been training with manager Paolo Di Canio's senior squad.
Cox spent the first five months of this season on loan to Oxford United, for whom he made 17 starts and two substitute appearances before leaving at the start of 2013.
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Cox said he was excited by the challenge facing him and Argyle, but admitted he was short of full fitness. The former Inverness Caledonian Thistle midfielder promised to work extra hard in training to resolve that situation.
Cox said: "I haven't been having the hardest training regime at Swindon. I know when I'm 100 per cent fit, and I've still got a bit to go.
"I'm going to do a lot of extra training this week to be ready for the game [against Oxford at Home Park] on Saturday."
Cox signed a two-and-a-half year contract for Swindon at the end of January 2012 after moving from Inverness for an undisclosed fee. He played seven times but then fell out of favour with Di Canio, with his last appearance for the Robins coming in a 2-0 defeat at Crewe Alexandra last March.
Cox said: "I didn't really know why I wasn't in the team last season. They bought me and then within weeks I was an outcast. I have not been training with the first team.
"There are a few of us that he [Di Canio] didn't want to train with the first team. He has got his squad he wants for this season. It has been difficult but I'm forgetting about that now. I'm just looking forward."
Oxford wanted to extend Cox's loan spell, but a deal could not be struck and he spent five weeks back at Swindon before sealing his move to Argyle. Cox said: "Every 90 minutes that I play, I will give my all. I will get some tackles in and get on the ball. I'm excited for the challenge and raring to go."
The midfielder was picked up by the team coach on Friday afternoon as Argyle travelled to Hampshire for the game at Aldershot the following day. He said: "It saved me from going down to Plymouth on the Friday. It helped me out a lot."
Two goals from on-loan Crystal Palace winger Jason Banton secured maximum points for Argyle at Aldershot. Cox said: "It was a scrappy game. The ball was in the air more than it was on the floor, but sometimes you get that in a bottom-of-the-table clash.
"I think we dealt with that well. It was only my first game, but you could see everyone wanted to win it."
Cox has one objective for his loan spell at Argyle. "I'm looking to get Plymouth as far up that table as I can," he said.