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Cook: We Never Looked Like Losing But Didn't Look Like Scoring the Goals to Win It
Monday, 5th Apr 2021 18:23

Boss Paul Cook admitted that while Town were never in much danger of losing their 0-0 draw at Rochdale, they similarly didn’t look like scoring the goals which would claim the three points.

Asked for his thoughts on what was a not overly enthralling game, Cook joked: “No chance! Obviously we all watch the same game. For managers now, we’re in a culture where you take positives and the positive is that we’ve got a point.

“We kept a clean sheet, we haven’t folded away from home when we might have done previously but I felt it was a game that we never really looked losing. We looked quite solid at the back. Did we ever look like scoring the goals to win us the game? Probably not the same way.

“The flair players in football today, they’re huge at every football club no matter who you are. Our lads this year, our record’s there where we haven’t really scored enough goals, we’ve huffed and puffed in those areas and today we’re still doing the same things.

“I’ll just keeping working with the boys. I’ve just said to them in there that we have to have a little bit of humility about us as a group. We’re a great club, everyone knows that, they’ve heard all that before.

“And the first thing we all do, we look at ourselves - are we working hard enough, are we doing enough? So going forward then that we can have a plan.

“Today we hoped we’d win the game, but we didn’t believe we were going to win it, we hoped. And a club like ours coming to Rochdale, we’ve got to be better than that, we’ve got to believe we’re going to win, when we’re going to win, what minute are we going to score? None of us felt that. And that’s the sadness but sadness can soon turn to joy, can’t it? That’s for sure.”

Is it difficult to solve the issue of a lack of a goal threat? “We are, James Norwood is out injured. Oli Hawkins has come on today, we’ve put combinations together which we haven’t really worked on.

“Let’s have it right, we’re at a stage of the season where getting on the training ground is difficult because of fatigued and tiredness, we travelled up north yesterday.

“What we have at the club is a really honest group of players, there’s no doubt about that. I’ve been in this building, I’ve been in dressing rooms that have characters who aren’t honest. We don’t have that.

“We have a group of young lads that are honest but at times are lacking quality and you’d expect us to have that quality at this club, which is something, with eight games to go, we still have a chance of doing.

“I said to them in there ‘you’ve got to be the one to step up, it’s your time, now is your time. Forget everything’s that gone on, let’s step up to the plate’.

Quizzed on whether Norwood would be back for next week’s home game against the MK Dons, he added: “With the greatest respect to every player, it’s hard at this club because we just get more injuries at this club than at any club I’ve seen. I’m not putting dates on it, I don’t think he’s bad, it’s a thigh problem and you don’t want him to carry on playing.

“Again, let’s lick our wounds let’s travel back south, disappointment’s never far away in football and the disappointment is that we want to be so much better than we are and with eight games to go, we’ve got to find a way, haven’t we?

“Within the shape of the team, we do look quite solid, I give them that. But we don’t look like scoring.

“We made five positive subs, I might be wrong with that. Sorry, Myles Kenlock came on the left side because Teddy Bishop was just shattered. Teddy worked so hard, second game [in four days], he carried an ankle problem from the game on Friday, so Myles came on just to block that side.

“But within that we tried our best to get players on. I thought Oli Hawkins looked a handful, I’ve got to say that. Again, it is what it is, you’ve watched it yourselves, you don’t need me to go over it much more.”

Cook started in the 3-5-2 system employed against Bristol Rovers before moving to a four-man backline towards the end of the first half.

“I think our supporters, going forward, know I have beliefs in the game and stuff like that,” he continued. “But at the minute we don’t have the personnel to do that.

“But what we do have is players coming back like Flynn Downes, who will be back with us, so we have options to get good players on the pitch. Kane Vincent-Young will be back this week.

“We’ve got the ingredients, haven’t we? What we’ve got to do is put them into the pot to make a nice meal.

“At the minute, I’m not so sure how it will be next Saturday. Feel free to write in and give us some suggestions.

“Keep believing, that would be my message to fans. I know it’s been a tough year for everyone and it’s easy to criticise us again.

“I watch the games as a fan. If I was a travelling fan today, would I have been happy? No! Not a chance. But would I go home and still support my team? One hundred per cent.”

Many fans and pundits thought Town needed six points from their two Easter games, however, Cook isn’t too unhappy with four.

“I genuinely thought it had to be four and I’ve got to be honest about that,” he said. “I think that if you keep picking four points out of each two games you’ll be fine.

“The reality is that each dropped point puts the pressure on the next game and the reality for us is that if we want to be in the play-offs, it looks at the minute that our home form is good, but away from home we need to be better. And that’s for me and the staff to address.”

That neither side managed a shot on target summed up the game but also illustrates Town’s strengths and weaknesses at the present time.

“You don’t need many comments from me on that,” Cook continued. “That’s the truth. You guys travel, we try and put flair players on. Sometimes our quality in possession of the ball is alarming, but there you go.”

Are confidence or belief the issue? “I don’t know, I can’t answer those questions because we travelled on the back of good home win. We travelled to Fleetwood off the back of a good home win.

“But for some reason, we don’t seem to take games by the scruff of the neck and say ‘we’re Ipswich Town, we’re dominating this football match, we’re about to take control’.

“It’s always hope and you don’t play football with hope, well you have to play with hope, but you’ve got to play with belief and the belief comes off the players. Could our players have ran more or worked harder? No. Did we lack quality? Yes, 100 per cent.”

Reflecting on the game further, he added: “You’ve watched more games than me, you’re not going to learn any more from me today that you don’t already know and the supporters don’t.

“Within that, my big message to the players in the dressing room is ‘step up to the plate, come on, there are eight games to go, so much football to play, let’s step up to the plate’. And that will be the continuous message.”

Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy felt his team, whose only win at Spotland this season was back in October, were the more likely victors.

“I thought it was a tough game,” he told the Dale official website. “I thought our lads put everything into the last two games - the one on Friday [a 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth] and today.

“We’ve had loads of games this season where we’ve played well and probably haven’t got what we felt we deserved.

“Today I thought we defended resolutely and I thought we were in the game for the whole game.

“I thought we were the team likely to win it, in difficult conditions. I’m just really proud of the lads for the amount effort they put into the game to get a result at home.”

Photo: TWTD

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martin587 added 18:27 - Apr 5
Get rid of the lot PC and start again.Too many over the hill or just don’t want to wear the shirt.

Paulc added 18:27 - Apr 5
Only in such a tin pot league, could anyone be as turgid as us and still be within 3 points of the play offs. This summer = clear out and reset.

grow_our_own added 18:29 - Apr 5
Interesting subs today Paul

dominiciawful added 18:30 - Apr 5
In Cook we trust.

Our players are pathetic.

BobbyBell added 18:30 - Apr 5
Do these players actually want to win? There is little evidence of any desire to score goals. Or are they just that bad?

cromwellblue added 18:30 - Apr 5
Teddy Bishop was shattered?

Does it take that much effort to do nothing.

What we’ve learnt since the arrival of Cook is how poor previous training regimes have been.

Lazy Lazy Lazy.

Embarrassing from 1 to 11

BlueArrow added 18:35 - Apr 5
Show your intentions from tonight and start clearing out the dead wood. Maybe just maybe some of the others will buck their ideas up.

tractorboybig added 18:37 - Apr 5
maybe just maybe cook is not that good ?

ashp19 added 18:37 - Apr 5
Not one shot at goal against the team bottom of league 1.

StuartBrett8 added 18:38 - Apr 5
It's pretty depressing that we feel the need to play 3 CB's and 2 DM's against Rochdale....

ArnieM added 18:41 - Apr 5
Cookie boy is marking time in this lot and they’ll have no excuses when he calls them into this office to give them their P45.

I’ve never known such a totally inept group of players ( “ the squad”) as this lot. I can’t wait to see the bank of every singe one of them .

DoseOfReality added 18:42 - Apr 5
Lambert got more out this bunch of useless overpaid apologies for pro footballers.

You needed to have an impact but you haven’t.

We continue to spiral to new lows.


Suffolkboy added 18:44 - Apr 5
He’s as honest as the day is long ! Not much doubt PC will be wanting change, to effect change and bring about change !
Much for him to get his teeth into ,but he seems very much to have the appetite : let’s see what meat and veg he puts on the table .

braveblue added 18:44 - Apr 5
Lots of talk. Little action.

blue86 added 18:48 - Apr 5
Fully behind cook, obviously needs players in who will fit his preferred 4231. But...... we need plan b and c also. Cant work out why cook never created that new manager bounce? Seems positive and doesen't bull$hit which is good. Players just cant be up to it.

Esseeja added 18:49 - Apr 5
All we heard from Lambert was "they were excellent".
What we're hearing now is "They weren't good enough today but I believe enough in them". That, to me, hints that even Cook knows they aren't mentally ready enough, nor are they at all good enough to cut it here. With Lambert, it took him 2 1/2 years to tell us the problems faced at the club. If Cook isn't allowed to spend, we better hope any sort of takeover, even if it's a bed ridden uncle taking us over seeing as he will probably have more ambition to succeed than Evans, happens.

Dolphinblue added 18:51 - Apr 5
Again berating Cook is as silly and embarassing as our current hopeless squad of players....massive clear out required.

BluedanW added 18:52 - Apr 5
"We travelled there on the back of a good home win"
Really?? Comments like that worry me.
Also comments like "Dissapointment is never far away" disappointment has moved in.

HUTCHITFC added 18:54 - Apr 5
Part of me thinks 'come on win this game and then were closer to the play offs' and when we fail im gutted. But when I take the time to think about it all I just don't see how we could possibly beat the teams in the top 6 over 2 legs anyway and then even win the final. I've said it before the players unfortunately are just average league 1 players hence why we got relegated and why most are struggling now. I always feel though like next week we will come good but week after week I see no improvement and the games are terrible to watch with no creativity or finish which makes me believe as above that were not good enough. Paul Cook has to give some belief but he has a right job on his hands. Happy Easter

rgp1 added 18:56 - Apr 5
Detective Cook hits the spot again. Unfortunately making so many subs just makes us look so bad. More worryingly we still seem to be heading backwards.

TimmyH added 18:56 - Apr 5
As much as I agree with the appointment of PC I actually though it came at a strange time on the back of 5 unbeaten and 3 wins on the trot and duly down to PL being public about the running of the club. I though Lambert might have been allowed to see his first whole season out as we were on the fringe of the play-offs (or might have been in 6th place) and then a good time to assess the season or if we had of made the play-offs and then get a new manager in and have a clear out in the summer, Evans obviously saw red.

Saying that though Sunderland, Portsmouth and even Charlton are doing okay with their new appointments and just us stuttering (who would have thought)...which points more and more towards the players.

dunkz84 added 18:57 - Apr 5
Absolutely toothless up front when Norwood isn’t playing and unfortunately he keeps picking up injuries. Drinan is dros and parrot shows some promise but doesn’t look like he will ever be a 20 even 10 goal a season player plus the fact he won’t be here next season

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 18:59 - Apr 5
I’m very happy we have PC, but I have to admit that we are no better now than we were under Lambert. Today’s display of pointless hoofball was depressing. It’s hard to understand how we got to this polnt. This team has played some decent stuff in the past (including under Lambert), but now they just seem incapable of it. I’m perplexed as to why this has happened, but it’s been a long and constant decline. I’d be tempted to play some yoofs now and begin planning for next season because barring a miracle, this one is already lost.

PositivelyPortman added 19:03 - Apr 5
“Disappointment is never far away” - Cook
We know that mate, we’ve been living with this sh!te show for a decade.

Woodbridgian added 19:05 - Apr 5
“ Never looked like scoring “ could hit a cows arse with a banjo would be a better description

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