To my eyes last night, Cole looked laboured. There were moments of great skill - like when, late in the second half, he pulled the ball down on the edge of the Cardiff box and laid it off. But there were others when, given the opportunity to run at the Cardiff defence or chase a long ball knocked into space, he looked as if he was running across a field of treacle. The legs were moving but he just wasn't getting anywhere.
In the credit account, he forced a superb save from Marshall with an excellent header and cleared the ball off the line with Green stranded in no keeper land. On the minus side, that header apart - when there was no time to think - there seemed to be no hunger to score as Cole looked for others in the box rather than going for goal himself even though his confidence should have been high after scoring a brace on Saturday.
A Cardiff fan posted on here that Cole's was the best target man performance he had seen all season, which makes you stop and think, but I don't disagree with that, as I have always argued that Cole plays that role superbly. The trouble is, he used to look electric quick too, but last night that burst of speed wasn't there and, to my eyes, he looked very much at the fag end of a long season, a season through which he has carried a deep seated injury. My worry is that we have knackered the workhorse by asking him to carry too heavy a load for too long!