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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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Wacko added 19:01 - Mar 13
What was Norwood doing at Norwood?

jonbull88 added 19:02 - Mar 13
Excellent. Makes you believe we can still have a chance of going up. Keep it up boys! Coyb!

davetheblue added 19:02 - Mar 13
Looking for wood

wkj added 19:24 - Mar 13
Another great message from the gaffer, putting the team in a position of confidence and not pressure.

Mark added 19:25 - Mar 13
It was refreshing to see Ipswich go for it straight from the start and to get an early goal. We were all over them for the first half hour, but clearly misses Downes when he went off.

Doncaster have a tougher run in than Portsmouth on paper. They have a game in hand and better goal difference, but are only 2 points ahead of us now so we are fighting for 5th and 6th places. COYB!

SickParrot added 19:27 - Mar 13
A month ago I thought the playoffs were impossible so very happy tonight. Just a shame we couldn't have scored a 2nd or 3rd when we were playing well first half, because that would have been a big confidence boost going forward.

ArnieM added 19:30 - Mar 13
The more this man speaks .... the more inspired and hopeful I get . Hopefully the players will too. Even if he doesn’t perform a miracle in the tail end of this season.. watch out next season 👍

Carberry added 19:41 - Mar 13
Isn't it refreshing to hear from a manager who doesn't try to make out how well we played and how great he is?

Cakeman added 19:56 - Mar 13
Well said Carberry, it’s a very long time since we had a manager who didn’t keep revelling in past glories elsewhere. Also refreshing that he calls it as it is and not try to bluff people in politician style.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 20:14 - Mar 13
Absolutely spot-on assessment re- both the positives and negatives. A rare thing among football managers, and much appreciated.

Linkboy13 added 20:28 - Mar 13
Is Norwood going to be fit for his court appearance. Those prison beds are not good for bad backs.

moggasnotebook added 20:31 - Mar 13
At this point I will just take clean sheet and three points - lovely. A few more of them whilst PC gets his feet under the table and the rest will follow...... COYB

PSGBlue added 20:48 - Mar 13
I like Paul Cook’s attitude. Whilst not this season, I can see him taking the cup games a bit more seriously.

Timefliesbyintheblue added 21:02 - Mar 13
I just love winning football - we are all a tad hypocritical though; imagine the furore if Lambert or MM had taken of Parrot and Jackson to be replaced by Drinan and Skuse whilst leading 1-0. If you win nothing else matters. A happy Saturday evening to you all!

itsonlyme added 22:10 - Mar 13
Very happy with the result if not the performance, but hey we’re in the top six, can’t ask for more after what has gone on for most of the season. Can we actually achieve promotion? There is growing hope if not this definitely next season. Actually looking forward to renewing my season ticket!

Help added 08:55 - Mar 14
A win and 3 points on the board. Top 6 will take that. Time to improve and quality will come the more time PC has with the players. He can only sub with what he has, and if they are all we have at the moment we have to accept that.

Marinersnose added 09:40 - Mar 14
Such a positive man. Refreshing change from what we’ve been accustomed to. Excellent for first 29 minutes then unfortunately we became negative and sat deep. We are in the playoff spot so let’s try and stay there. Agree with Cook the team definitely needs to improve and maintain the intensity of the first 20 minutes. Three away games will be a test.

Dockerblue added 10:29 - Mar 14
Nice to hear from a manager that talks sense, not telling everyone what big clubs he has played for/been! Clearly PC will use the rest of this season to weigh up what he has inherited and which players he wants here next season. If we by some miracle make it into the play-offs and go on to win them l assume there's a plan B. For the Fleetwood game l,d like to see Matheson at RB and perhaps Dobra for Bennetts, lt,s early days for PC so let,s be patient, he has proved a previous clubs he can get teams playing football.

Linkboy13 added 10:33 - Mar 14
If we got promotion we'll have to buy a complete new team. Paul Cook's got to make some very big and difficult decisions hope he's up to it. There's going to be a lot of very upset fans next season when their under performing favourites get shown the door.

Razor added 10:20 - Mar 15
Hopefully the partnership he will eventually get is Nozza and Jacko----that would be good.

And poor old Judgey---I know he is having a rough time at the moment but that chance he missed in the second half was aweful-----he had time to make a brew before putting the ball in the net----luckily it did not come back to haunt him.

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