Morecambe boss Stephen Robinson knows he can always count on Cole Stockton, as do Tottenham with Harry Kane.
The forward is Sky Bet League One’s co-top scorer with 15 goals heading into Sunday’s FA Cup third round against Spurs.
Stockton has never been more prolific than for the Shrimpers, scoring 38 of his 58 league goals for Morecambe, including two loan spells in 2016.
The 27-year-old is in the shape of a life and Robinson knows they always have a chance with the forward.
He said: “Cole would love to be compared to Harry Kane. No matter what your level is, and we’re at a lower level than Harry Kane, if you’re in close games and have a goalscorer. that seems to land on things, it’s important.
“He’s been doing it all season long. He has scored two from the halfway line and volleys he is not allowed to score. To know you have that and if you can hang onto the games, you know you always have an opportunity.
“We’ve conceded too many goals, it’s been a real problem for us all season, but the consistency of our game comes from the goals Cole scored.”
Stockton has scored 18 goals in 27 games in all competitions this season, three more than he managed last season, after a brace in Sunday’s 4-3 win over Doncaster where Morecambe recovered from 3 -0.
He has 36 goals in 106 games since his permanent departure from Tranmere in 2019 and Robinson – who was forced to miss the trip due to a positive Covid-19 test – believes the former Hearts and Carlisle hitman is harvesting the fruits of his hard work.
“When we’re without him we really struggle, we end up defending too much,” the former Northern Ireland international told the PA news agency.
“He’s priceless right now, he’s a great boy and he’s trying to do it right and be better. He’s weighed with incredible goals, he’s up for three or four goal-of-the-season awards. .
“He’s working hard, he got two more on Sunday and if you want to get a result you need someone who is going to score goals and score you 20 a season, he’s definitely on the right track.
“He enjoys leading the line and what we do. Everything is gathered for him. Sometimes you get those seasons where whatever you hit comes in.
“He’s trying to understand other aspects of the game and work harder, that’s the biggest part of what we’ve learned from him this year. Previously he might have waited for things to happen, but we made him work and push harder.