Cook: The Sunday Headaches Are Back But It's a Privilege
Monday, 8th Mar 2021 12:37
Boss Paul Cook says the familiar Sunday evening headache was back following his first game in charge of the Blues at Gillingham on Saturday but believes being a football manager is a privilege for anyone.
The 3-1 defeat to the Gills wasn’t the ideal start to his time at Town but Cook is delighted to be back involved, despite the disappointing result and its impact on his Sunday.
“I certainly was back to the headache Sunday night, that's for sure. I forgot what the headaches were like, but they're there and I've had them before,” he said.
“By the way, I've had plenty of them and it's great to be back involved. It is what it is. Being a football manager is an absolute privilege for anyone.
“If you can ever manage the better clubs in the league and the higher up you go, it just gets better and better because the responsibility seems to grow, and it obviously doesn't because every club has supporters that love their club and every manager's role is important to that community.
“So we've had where we've been and it's documented that I genuinely don't like speaking about anything that's gone on before me.
“The truth is we're a team that's probably been a little bit inconsistent this season in terms of good and bad. Certainly, we've seen the bad side Saturday, so let's hope we can see the good side tomorrow night.”
Was Saturday a bit of a reality check after the positivity following his appointment? Although the Blues had claimed victories in their previous three games, in the latter two they hadn’t been particularly impressive.
“You’ve probably just summed up where we’re actually at,” he said. “Whatever happens in football when you win, everything’s good. We override performance, we override what’s gone on in the game because we’re so satisfied that we’ve won a game of football.
“For me at the minute, all my teams in previous tenures have always managed to start at a point and finish at a point.
“Within that procedure, the team evolves, players will change, the squad will change but we have to have certain criteria in that team.
“In that team we have to have aspects of the game that we all love. In my world, I think football’s about playing off your front foot, it’s about being expansive, progressive, passing the ball, looking good on the eye, but most of all winning.
“And that’s the balance that the top teams have. For us at the minute, I think we’re going to search for that identity over the next few weeks.
“Along the way, I want Ipswich fans to be absolutely assured that we are going to do absolutely everything to get in the play-offs and above.”
Asked whether he is starting to get a feel of where his squad is lacking and what needs to be done, he said: “That’s not for the public domain, I’m a great believer that well run clubs are run in rooms and corridors where decisions are made and then fans see the products of those decisions.
“What I say to our supporters can only be outlined in the fact that I am absolutely committed to doing a good job for this football club, it won’t happen overnight, it will not happen overnight.
“Nothing can be put right in football in a day, a week, a month. But going forward, there’ll be a lot of changes within what we’re doing both on the pitch and off the pitch and we all want to be in a position where we’re dead proud of team and we go to the matches looking forward to the game.”
The vast majority of fans have reacted very positively to his appointment. Does Cook like that kind of positive pressure?
“For us, football manager pressure is something that you have to deal with,” he reflected. “And one of the things I've learnt all the time is managers are only as good as their players. That's without a shadow of a doubt.
“I've been really fortunate over my previous tenure at clubs with some really good footballers both brought in and developed and ones that have already been there.
“I think at Ipswich Town as we'd all agree that there are some very good footballers here, what we have to do is get them on the same page in terms of tactics, formations and what we're trying to do. I think the quicker we can do that we can see the team flourish.
“With 15 games to go, like Portsmouth and Accrington at the minute, who are probably our biggest competitors and with Gillingham hot on us, we must be deemed to have a realistic chance.
“And I've been one never to fear pressure and I feel you should embrace it. I don't feel you should fear failure. I feel you should embrace it and as a club that's been my message today and will be my message tomorrow and going forward that we have an opportunity, and why not take it.”
Did he spend a lot of time studying the game while out of a job? “I'd like to say I'm a big Liverpool fan, but I've decided not to watch us a lot this year and it seems to be going great.
“I certainly think it's been refreshing for managers out there because if Jurgen Klopp can go through what he's going through I think we can all have a little bit can't we?
“Yes, I do study football and like most managers we've got a lot of friends in the game that we speak to regularly and there are certain managers out there that you really like that you want to see do well, and you follow their teams and you follow the leagues.
“You're obviously going to follow clubs that you feel you might, at a future point, be involved with. That's the brutal truth of it, isn't it? So, certainly Ipswich was one of those clubs that I was following.”
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