|Ipswich Town 1 v 0 Plymouth Argyle|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 13th March 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Cook Delighted For Players After First Town Win
Saturday, 13th Mar 2021 18:42
Boss Paul Cook was delighted for his players after the 1-0 home defeat of Plymouth Argyle, his first win with the Blues.
Troy Parrott’s first senior goal in the fourth minute was enough to to see Town and Cook to the three points and up to sixth in League One.
“I’m just delighted for the players, as always. It takes a lot to win a game of football at any level and the clean sheet’s a bonus,” Cook said.
“I felt we started the game really well, I was really impressed and pleased with how we picked it up, our shape looked good, better, we had more penetration going forward.
“I thought we deserved to score a goal or two at that time of the game, but credit to Plymouth, we know Ryan Lowe is a very good coach, manager, their shape caused us problems in the second half, they genuinely took control of the game and we had to dig in and see the game out.”
He added: “The game was petering out towards half-time and I thought Plymouth took control of the game in the second half in truth but without ever creating great chances. I thought we were very solid behind the ball.
“They had the one header in the second half that the boy’s put wide. We’re delighted with the win. Winning football is great for anyone.”
Cook admitted that the three points were the most important thing to take from today’s game: “Without a doubt, especially when you’re a manager and you’re three games in without a win. We all know the rules now, that pressure builds quickly.
“For the players, it’s small steps. As we know, we’re going to have a certain style of play which I enjoy. I thought our flair players had a bit more of an effect on the game today without the chances being converted, the crosses going in with quality.
“I’m a great believer in partnerships, I love partnerships on a football pitch and that’s something I’m going to try and develop here.”
A second Town goal would have sealed the victory but Cook said he knew it wasn’t going to come the longer the game went on.
“It was never coming, was it?” he laughed. “I said on the bench ‘we’ll be all night, we’re not scoring, we might as well just shut our eyes and pray!’.
“It’s good for the players, everyone knows what goals do in games, goals change games, especially at certain levels, confidence for players is huge.
“If we’d scored the second goal you’d have seen us grow into the game. Unfortunately, if Plymouth had got it, you’d probably have seen us wilt away. That’s a character-building exercise for us all.”
Cook has been pleased with the Blues’ backline: “Defensively, we looked very sound, we restricted Plymouth to very, very few chances and Plymouth are a free-scoring team, so credit to the defenders.
“I think we’re good at that, with Chambers at the back, Wilson, Toto, lads like that, Myles Kenlock, I think those lads are really good if we have to dig in and see games out. I think they’ve got the capabilities to do that.”
Town dominated the first 20 minutes but Cook says it’s not unrealistic to expect his side to do that for the full 90.
“One hundred per cent, we’re a good club and a great club in this league,” he said. “We’re a massive club, as you move up leagues now there are plenty of big clubs who have been lower down they want to be.
“Going forward, we’ve got to be better, we’ve got to be stronger, at home we’ve got to win games, we’ve got to score goals and we’ve got to excite our fans, they’re my targets as manager.”
Town lost Flynn Downes to an injury in the first half, which affected the Blues’ performance and it seems likely the midfielder may miss a few games.
“He and Andre are forming a good little partnership in there,” Cook added. “Teddy [Bishop]’s gone in, Cole [Skuse] has gone in. It’s something you have to put up with in football, the games come thick and fast. It’s a massive blow for us, but I’m sure if you look around the country today, other teams will have had disappointments as well.
“It doesn’t look great, does it? It’s a hamstring. You don’t know, he’ll go for a scan. They have different grades now, so I suppose we’ll wait and see.”
Skuse returned having undergone a knee operation to make his first appearance in just over a year.
“Cole and Chambo have been stalwarts for this club, they’ve been outstanding players, they’ve been outstanding men,” Cook said.
“You have longevity in football because you’re good and you look after yourself properly. They’re great role models for any of our younger players.”
Is the 34-year-old ready to start games? “He might not have a choice, might he? I’ll have to go in and have a chat with him. I think with Cole, you have to talk to him and see what’s right for him. Certainly I know he’d not want to let anyone down. I don’t think you’d see Cole refusing to play or not asking to play.
“But let’s just wait and see, let’s enjoy our win, that’s what it’s about and we can look forward to Fleetwood on Tuesday night.”
Regarding Parrott scoring his first senior goal of his career, Cook said: “He’s worked so hard in games, his work-rate and his desire to work and help this team is relentless but from there he’s got to get goals. Flair players in teams have got to score.
“Today we were working on getting them higher up the pitch, more penetration and I felt certainly for the first 20 or 30 minutes we did that really well. So it was great for him to get his goal, I’m delighted for him, he’s a really nice young man.”
Asked whether there was any significance in the Blues getting back in the top six, the Blues boss added: “I just keep going. I say to people, football’s great because if you drop out of it, you’re not going up, if you get in it you’re going up. The reality is that none of us have got a clue. I’ll just stick to the none of us have got a clue. If we keep winning we’ll be alright.”
Is he starting to see things in games that he has instilled at Playford Road? “It’s just tough isn’t it? The schedule, it’s so demanding. I think like most teams we’re probably getting by on the quality of our players and if we have to get by on the quality of our players, that’s what we’ll have to do.”
Regarding James Norwood, who was missing from the 18, he added: “He’s got back spasms, James. He had them at Accrington, it seems like four games ago, and he was close to pulling out.
“He reported them on Thursday, so it’s going to be a little problem. Hopefully, I don’t think it’s going to be anything that will keep him out for any length of time. But obviously we don’t know when they’ll come back. I would imagine James will be fit very quickly.”
Norwood is ruled out of Tuesday’s game at Fleetwood as a request to adjourn his appearance in court was recently turned down.
Pilgrims boss Ryan Lowe felt the goal was a gift and was disappointed with the way his side began the game.
“We have given them a goal. We wanted to play in their half early doors,” Lowe told Plymouth Live.
“We said to play in their half early doors and then we pass a ball across the back and it’s intercepted and it’s a gimme.
“I thought we played some good football at times. Danny [Mayor] and Panutche [Camara] caused them a few problems in different types of positions, so that positive. But the first 20 minutes we kept giving the ball away, it was like a hot potato.
“I give them the freedom to go and play, and I want them to be simple as much as they possibly can, and we weren’t.
“After that I thought we grew into the game fine. We had a couple of chances, half-chances, we played a good bit of football. The stats will say we outdid them on possession but ultimately it’s goals that win you games.”
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