Morecambe boss Stephen Robinson knows he can always rely on Cole Stockton – just like Tottenham do with Harry Kane.
The striker is Sky Bet League One’s joint-top scorer with 15 goals ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup third-round trip to Spurs.
Stockton has never been more prolific than for the Shrimpers, with 38 of his 58 career league goals coming for Morecambe, including two loan spells in 2016.
The 27-year-old is in the form of his life and Robinson knows they always have a chance with the forward.
He said: “Cole would be delighted to be in any comparison with Harry Kane. At whatever level you are at, and we are at a lower level than Harry Kane, if you are in tight games and have a goalscorer who seems to land on things, that’s important.
“He has done that throughout the season. He has scored two from the halfway line and volleys he has no right to score. To know you have got that and if you can hang into games you know you always have an opportunity.
“We have conceded way too many goals, that has been a real problem for us all season, but the consistency in our play has been from the goals Cole has scored.”
Stockton has 18 goals in 27 games in all competitions this season, three more than he managed last term, after a brace in Sunday’s 4-3 win over Doncaster where Morecambe recovered from 3-0 down.
He has 36 goals in 106 games since making a permanent move from Tranmere in 2019 and Robinson – who has been forced to miss the trip due to a positive Covid-19 test – believes the former Hearts and Carlisle hitman is reaping the rewards for his hard work.
“When we are without him we really struggle, we end up defending way too much,” the former Northern Ireland international told the PA news agency.
“He is invaluable at the moment, he is a great boy and trying to do things right and be better. He has weighed in with some incredible goals, he’s in the running for three or four goal-of-the-season awards.
“He is working hard, he got another two on Sunday and if you are going to nick any kind of result you need someone who is going to score goals and get you 20 a season, he’s certainly on track for it.
“He likes leading the line and what we do. Everything has come together for him. Sometimes you get these seasons where everything you hit goes in.
“He is trying to understand other aspects of the game and work harder, that’s been the biggest bit of what we’ve got out of him this year. Previously he might have waited for things to happen but we have him working and pressing harder.”