|Ipswich Town 1 v 1 Lincoln City|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 9th March 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Cook: A Small Step Forward and a Pleasing One
Tuesday, 9th Mar 2021 21:54
Boss Paul Cook felt the 1-1 draw with Lincoln City was a small step forward the Blues with the result a fair one.
Cook cut a much more jovial figure after the game than he had been at Gillingham on Saturday and admitted that that wasn’t difficult.
“We only had to turn up to be happier than I was on Saturday, to get changed,” he said. “Saturday was a tough game for everyone, no one more than our fans, but I think even they know that was very unlike us.
“One of the things in general, if you have three or four wins in this division, like we had done, the reality is that you know a defeat is round the corner because teams are just not consistent.
“I don’t know why that is because consistency comes from selection, players, everything else.
“After equalising at Gillingham, we had a five-minute spell where we looked like we were going to win the game. But unfortunately, after we conceded that goal it was one-way traffic.
“But tonight, from the disappointment of conceding the goal, I thought we played well in the second half in a strange sort of way. We never dominated, created chances and had them cleared off the line.
“But we looked a good side, we looked a balanced team. I thought Dozzell and Flynn Downes, I thought Teddy Bishop was excellent before he went off. I thought we actually had people to speak about in a positive light and going forward that’s what we need, we want good players at this club.”
Lincoln were a threat down the wings in the first half but Town nullified that danger in the second period.
“They’ve got some good players, Morgan Rogers was excellent in the first half and sometimes you have to say well done to the opposition,” he added.
“We wanted to pose Lincoln a threat, we wanted to pose them a threat. I think Lincoln are very good sometimes at counter-attacking, sucking teams onto them, leaving gaps and hurting you with pace.
“I felt tonight our goalkeeper had a very quiet night, as did theirs by the way. I feel a draw’s a fair result.”
For the third game in a row the Blues fought back from a goal down, ultimately winning at Accrington a week ago, 2-1, losing 3-1 at Gillingham and then drawing tonight.
“You know yourself, for managers today with the way football is, you get judged very quickly, you don’t get honeymoon periods. Managers need time to breathe, you need transfer windows to try and be successful,” he said.
“In my opinion people demand change too quickly, I think sometimes to the detriment of clubs. Certainly going forward here, my talks with Lee and Marcus, we’re going to try and build a team and we’re going to try and build a football club that the town can be proud of.
“And that’s nothing to do with any other managers that have been here, that’s not being disrespectful. It’s our time at the club now. We made a small step tonight, and it’s a pleasing one because it was forward.”
Cook was pleased to open his points account in his second game: “I’m delighted with the first point. Even at the end of games, I’ve seen lose games and we would have been devastated if we’d have lost late on.
“Sometimes in your willingness to want to win, you leave big gaps and we’ve not worked long enough together yet to trust each other to do that, so I was quite pleased with the point in the end.”
Does he believe he has the players to create more of a goal threat? “Of course we have, sometimes we’ve too many players.
“The reality is that when you don’t get good results you just change teams,” he said. “And I’ve never been a chopper and changer, I think if people look back on my teams historically, I don’t use a lot of players because I trust the players I have.
“Here, it’s getting to know the players that I trust. Certainly if you look at the changes we made tonight, [Keanan] Bennetts, [Alan] Judge and [Troy] Parrott coming on, three good players coming on the pitch and we took three good players off, so in my opinion, the players are at the club.”
Cook teased the media by revealing he was set to start a player who hadn’t been in the 18 on Saturday with Jack Lankester turning out to be that man.
“We like a little bit of a game with the press!” he laughed. “It’s always disappointing when a manager’s lost his job because everyone’s got family and friends, it’s tough, but this dressing room that I’ve walked into is a very, very good dressing room.
“It’s a quiet dressing room, there’s a lot of young lads in it, but there are no bad eggs, and that’s a great credit to way the players have been assembled.”
The XI included none of the six loan players but Cook says that wasn’t a conscious move on his part.
“Honestly no,” he insisted. “For us going forward, it’s just about repetition. Josh Harrop started Saturday, so if that was the sort of decision I’d made, I wouldn’t have started Josh Harrop.
“I just want to get balance in the team. I love [getting it] wide and [getting] crosses in the box, I love full-backs penetrating. We want to see a really good brand of football don’t we, so we’ve got to keep tipping away.”
“A little bit frustrated,” he told Lincolnshire Live. “I thought we performed really well in the first half.
“And I thought we defended reasonably well in the second half. We gave up a bit of territory and they had a lot of possession in front of us, but Alex [Palmer] never had a lot to do.
“The biggest disappointment is two things. One is the way we conceded. To concede a goal where we lose the first contact and then lose the second contact, that was a bit disappointing.
“And the turnover, when we won the ball back in the second half, there were far too many times when the ball went back into them and it was coming back again.
“No excuses. Our proper footballers in the team turned the ball over too easily in the second half and it cost us a couple of points potentially.”
However, he was pleased with the way his side reacted to the Blues’ equaliser: “We dealt with the disappointment, came back strongly and looked like the side that capable of winning it in the dying stages.
“We were a little bit more passive in the second half but in the last three or four minutes there was only going to be one winner. We were creating clean chances, so there’s a mixture of frustration and disappointment.
“But we’ll take the point and it will be a good point if we can get three points on Saturday [at home to Rochdale].
“If we can’t win against sides in and around us we have to make sure we don’t lose and they can’t make too much ground on us.”
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