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Cook: One of the Best Games I've Seen in a Long Time
Saturday, 1st May 2021 18:29

Blues boss Paul Cook hailed last night’s 3-2 after-extra-time FA Youth Cup quarter-final victory over 10-man Sheffield United at Portman Road as one of the best games of football he’s seen in a long time.

An own goal gave the U18s the win in a pulsating tie which swung one way and then the other over the course of three hours once 33 minutes for stoppages in addition to extra-time were taken into account.

The win sets up a semi-final tie at home to Liverpool, the club both Cook and U18s manager Adem Atay support, which must be played before Saturday 15th May.

“Probably one of the best games of football I’ve watched for a long, long time, it had everything,” Cook said when asked about the match.

“The emotions Adz [Atay], the staff and the players went through. Both teams, by the way, Sheffield United were a credit to their club and Ipswich were obviously a credit to ours.

“To see the players give everything they’ve got and there was no end of quality on the pitch as well. And the celebrations in the dressing room were brilliant for the young lads. They can look forward to an exciting semi-final.”

Cook and his assistant Gary Roberts were filmed joining the youngsters for those celebrations.

“Right in the middle! No messing about!” he laughed. “They’re great days for people, that’s why we train, that’s why you’ve got to get fitter, that’s why you’ve got to get stronger so those days come more frequently. You never stop enjoying those days.”

He added: “Without being critical of people, I don’t think our lower age groups, our academy/U23s, I don’t think they do a lot wrong. I think the first team now for a couple or three years has not been good enough and that’s something that’s down to me and the rest of the staff to change that culture at the club.”

Reflecting on having to support a team against Liverpool, he joked: “It’s going to stretch me that one, guys. I like free tickets at Anfield!

“Listen, I’ll be fully behind Adz and the boys. They can’t lose now, they’ve put themselves in a situation now where they can only win and I hope that the families can come in because I’m sure they were watching on the iFollow last night and they must have been so proud of them. Hopefully they can be a bit more proud when that semi-final comes to Portman Road.”


Photo: Matchday Images



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stevieiriswattii added 18:40 - May 1
It was a great game, performance & result. It’s probably done enough to persuade me to renew my season ticket. Not because I expect to see those players next season, but because watching Baggott power a last minute equaliser, ignited all those emotions we’ve been missing with the first team. We live in hope...
21

therein61 added 18:40 - May 1
I'm so glad i read further than the head line(unlike the serial down voters) for one horrible moment i thought he meant todays game at swindon!!
15

Ebantiass added 18:59 - May 1
Well done lads i cetainly looked like a great game.
3

itsonlyme added 19:06 - May 1
Therein61 - that’s exactly what I thought lol! The young players are a credit to this club once again. I would dearly love to see as many of them as possible make it to the first team and hopefully become stars of the game in future years. I remember watching the likes of Colin Viljoen and John Wark in 1970’s play for our youth team and a lot of them went straight into the first team. Wonderful players at a wonderful time in our history.
11

grow_our_own added 19:28 - May 1
Much better team selection today. But on Radio Suffolk after the game, Cook said: "KVY, I've never seen anyone miss chances like him! He can miss chances from three yards out, can't he!?"
Even in jest, is that really necessary Paul? If I'd heard my manager criticising me like this in public, I'd be seething. Could easily have just said something about us collectively being wasteful in front of goal instead. You rarely hear managers singling players out like this, and for good reason. KVY isn't one of the expendables.
-4

AlanG296 added 20:20 - May 1
Grow our own, you should read what the manager said next, to put the words you quoted in context. Or perhaps you did and are just spinning it for an anti-PC agenda.
9

oldbri added 20:26 - May 1
Grow your own seems to have missed the subject . The article was about the FA youth cup.
6

Robert_Garrett added 20:40 - May 1
Having been present at the 1973 and 1975 finals I can honestly say that this crop of youngsters will be just as excitzing to watch as them days!
6

Michael101 added 23:35 - May 1
Question, I thought Babbitt was on loan at kings lynn ? can be play for them and us ?? Or is he back at ipswich ? If so play him in our last 2 games. All very confusing for someone o!d and seanile like what I is
0

Michael101 added 09:34 - May 2
Baggott ,never had any problems with smoke signals on for the good old days.
0

Gforce added 11:19 - May 2
Congratulations to the lads.
I've seen very little of the youth team recently, anyone know which of these lads has the talent to make the first team in the future??
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Upthetown1970 added 13:08 - May 2
Gforce. I would say Gibbs and Baggott but lots show good potential
2

blues1 added 13:19 - May 3
Michael 101. Yes, baggott is on loan at kings lynn. But bcse it's a youth loan, he can still play for the u23s. He cannot however play for the 1st team.
1


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