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Cook on Calls For Him to Bring in Assistant
Friday, 17th Sep 2021 11:03

Town boss Paul Cook has responded to suggestions he is in need of an assistant manager following the Blues' under par start to the season.

Cook had been expected to name an assistant boss in the summer having taken the Portman Road job in March.

His Wigan, Portsmouth and Chesterfield assistant, Leam Richardson, was interim boss of the Latics at that stage before getting the job permanently towards the end of 2020/21 with Cook having been aware for a while before that that he appointment was on the cards.

Blues U23s manager Kieron Dyer was a candidate for the role, as was ex-Blues forward Noel Hunt, who played for Cook at Portsmouth and Wigan and is now assistant boss at Doncaster, while John McGreal was spotted - and continues to be spotted - at games and at the training ground. However, McGreal, who played with Cook at Tranmere and is a close friend, is thought to be looking for another manager’s job of his own following his short spell at Swindon.

Franny Jeffers was also viewed as a potential assistant but in the end the ex-Blues loan striker joined the staff as a first-team coach with Gary Roberts having been appointed to a similar role in March. Former Wigan kitman Ian Craney was also named a coach and ex-Portsmouth keeper-coach John Keeley joined the staff in the same role.

With the Blues’ form having been less than impressive since the start of the season, fans have looked around for reasons why and many have cited the lack of an assistant working alongside Cook.

When this was put to the Blues manager, he responded: “In football again you’ll always look at stuff and rightly or wrongly questions can be asked, there’s never a problem with that.

“If you look back on my time, previously, all the lads I’ve worked with are all at other clubs working well.

“So when Ipswich Town aren’t doing so well, that will be a natural process. Mark Ashton, our CEO, our board give me every encouragement, our chairman Michael O’Leary, to look at every aspect of what we’re doing and how can we make it better.

“So just for our supporters, we look at the club in the same light, and we think ‘Have we got enough?’.

“If you look back, for example, at Macauley Bonne’s miss at Cheltenham, and I can speak about Macauley. Was that due to my assistant manager not being in the dugout? I don’t really think so.

“If you look at Lee Evans standing on the ball against whoever it was at home and giving the goal away.

“And it’s right what people will do. We’ve got a great belief in making the club better. If we feel it’s something that should happen and experience should come in, I’d be all for it. I’d be all for anything that makes this football club better.

“In my world, the thing that will make this club better is more time, more games together on the pitch and starting winning. And once you do all of those things, people won’t be worried about coaching staff or anything else, and they’ll be enjoying what they see on a football pitch. And in my world, that day is coming.”

Cook has stuck resolutely to his preferred 4-2-3-1 system so far this season. During his spell in charge towards the end of 2020/21, he switched formation on a number of occasions, although subsequently said he regretted having done so.

Quizzed on whether he might consider using a different set-up, he said: “I think when you speak with managers and coaches, I think when you sit down and you reflect on a game and you reflect on a game this question I always ask myself ‘Has the formation cost us the result?’

“I think that is a very fair question. So, if you look at Burton Albion and the games, we’ve played, Morecambe at home, all the games we played, has our formation cost the result?

“Not a chance. Absolutely not a chance. Are there other elements to what we’re doing costing us games? One hundred per cent. What are we working hard to do, be better at what we’re not good at.”

Photo: TWTD

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backwaywhen added 11:18 - Sep 17
Load drivel, a good manager would see where the problems are , and make changes to counteract them , other managers do against us FFS .
He looks like a rabbit in the headlights at times , without the nouse to put things right , I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think he is all that without Liam Richardson !

Linkboy13 added 11:33 - Sep 17
Yes I agree he struggles to spot things that are going wrong during games and doesn't alter the system when the team are under pressure. Although we are conceding goals the main problem is in midfield which at times against Bolton was non existent. The players seem to be struggling to adapt to 4321 and would be far better with the simpler 442 or 4411 .

muccletonjoe added 11:36 - Sep 17
This article emphasises precisely why I think Cook will be gone before Christmas.

shakytown added 11:56 - Sep 17
Delusional and it seems unwilling to change. Tick tock!!!!!!! 4321 is not working fool and the players are just positionally lost.

shakytown added 11:56 - Sep 17
Delusional and it seems unwilling to change. Tick tock!!!!!!! 4321 is not working fool and the players are just positionally lost.

superdicksy added 12:03 - Sep 17
It’s 4 his own good
Perhaps he’s afraid he could lose his job
If things went wrong
John mixed grill a good call played and knows the club well

Dog added 12:08 - Sep 17
Not one word he has spoken inspires me with confidence. We can all see the problem except him. Does he watch the match over to see where He could have changed things earlier or adapted the formation.

He seems too proud to accept that he is at fault. He is now blaming players errors (although he categorically stated that he would not blame players a week or so ago).

Four more games. For his sake, i hope the rot stops this weekend. Draw or lose and unfortunately, i think he will be replaced. We all know that the management make signings quickly .

ITFCOYB added 12:28 - Sep 17
I understand the frustration here.

For me, i feel like some managers do adapt better but i also think this is about the approach and mentality that we take into games. Mourinho is a great example of a tactically astute coach who builds a defensive base and adapts it game on game to nullify opponents. Rightly or wrongly, Cook's approach seems to be more akin to Klopp or Pep - not so much in terms of formation/style, but rather in terms of imposing our style of play on the opposition and trusting it, rather than changing to counter threats. Thus personnel changes are the most he will do (and hasn't, quickly enough in some games, for my money), and they have a limited (but not negligible) effect as different players naturally have different attributes even in similar roles.

You don't see Pep changing style when his team go behind - or ahead, for that matter, nor Klopp. They both have the players to play their systems (as different as they are) and stick with it to great effect.

In this league, we SHOULD be like City or Liverpool. The Ipswich way, i believe, is to pass the ball and build attacks etc. There is much to admire about teams that defend deep and hit on the counter, or teams that are very hard to score against and hope to nick it from a set piece, but i am glad that is not the route we are going down.

The reason Cook is pointing at individual mistakes costing us is because the fundaments of Ipswich performances this season are, in the main, promising. We have a lot of possession, make a decent number of chances, score pretty regularly, and (Bolton aside) are the victims of a few moments in games, rather than getting played off the park. So his focus is on resolving those fragilities.

A decent win (hopefully soon), a bit of confidence, and fewer mistakes and the fundaments of the performances will shine through and we'll be on the up and winning.

On the flip side, if we never get going, then come Christmas, we'll be shopping for a new boss, and rightly so.

cat added 12:57 - Sep 17
It’s positive that P.C is letting the fans know exactly what’s going on, where as previous managers have failed to communicate and left us guessing at what’s occurring. I agree that it is the mistakes at both ends which have cost us points, it’s glaringly obvious.
All those calling for a 4.4.2 formation might want to consider that the formation is actually a more defensive set up and as we are currently gifting goals away we’ll be even more exposed. Which ever way you look at it we need wins and quick, after all it’s a results business and that’s what managers are expected to deliver.

BobbyBell added 13:01 - Sep 17
The underlying theme from PC is be patient and eventually it will work. But when?? Playing the same system all the time surely makes us too predictable and too easy to play against.

ringwoodblue added 13:03 - Sep 17
“In football again you’ll always look at stuff and rightly or wrongly questions can be asked, whether there’s never a problem with that”

Don’t even understand that sentence!

“If you look back on my time, previously, all the lads I’ve worked with are all at other clubs working well.

Yes, Paul they are working well, better than you in fact but that does not mean that you couldn’t benefit from an assistant that you haven’t worked with before to challenge your thinking as well as
help with in-game tactics and subs.

Basically I think Cookie has managed to successfully avoid answering any of those questions and I’m none the wiser after reading that article.

As he likes to remind us every week, he has been around football a long long time so he doesn’t need fans or journalists to tell him what he needs to do - he will figure it out on his own eventually!

DifferentGravy added 13:11 - Sep 17
As much as the manager has to take full responsibility...the players are accountable for their lack of effort/performance. However, to state the formation isnt impacting on the team performance is simply wrong. Perhaps he should sit up in the stands for a game and see the amount of space the opposition is having. If the team is working effectively under the formation....then great......but its not. The average of over 2 goals conceded per game and a lack of a win is evidence of that.

The full backs are so high they are continuously caught out of position and its a huge source of opposition goals.....just watch the highlights. Ive not been particularly impressed with either Evans or Harper.....but they are being incredibly stretched and exposed by the formation. By playing Bonne up on his own there is only really one option....a ball over the top. Two up top occupies the oppos back 4, allows for over the top, flick on or to feet.

Im all for supporting the team and giving Cook the time to sort it out. But Its very clear their are issues and its down to the manager to resolve the issues. If he doesnt....then Im not going to suffer in silence. Or is it going to be like Lambert.......sitting in the bottom 3 for most of the season and applauding the players/manager for being relegated. Blind faith is one thing but give the fans something to actually believe in and get behind.....namely a clean sheet......and a win!

PhilTWTD added 13:12 - Sep 17

That first bit was my fault, the 'whether' shouldn't have been in there.

mickeyjb added 13:34 - Sep 17
He will not get a assistant manager in because if we suddenly have a upturn in form who would it be down to?

ian_marshall added 13:43 - Sep 17
Right behind you cooky x

runningout added 14:11 - Sep 17
it’s not a gimme Leam Richardson and PC would have worked here. Football works for certain types at certain clubs at certain times. Not many clubs claim to success with same staff for a long period of time

Edmundo added 16:40 - Sep 17
I agree we need to make the system work. But we also need players to have time together. We had 13 straight days training before Bolton, and seemed to go backwards. Cook has to act like a manager and look at both the players and his coaches. Which is he going to alter. Personally I have zero faith in his bunch on the bench. Too many inexperienced yes men

blues1 added 19:58 - Sep 17
Edmundo. Theres a helluva lot of difference between on the training field and in a game tho. How many times over the years have managers said how well things have been on the training field, only for that not to carry over into games? And not just at our club. It makes me laugh with our fans too. Keep going on a out there being yes men on the bench.m? So how many of those fans have been sitting on the bench or been at the training ground to know that? No1. Just make stuff up to suit urselves

istanblue added 20:26 - Sep 17
“So when Ipswich Town aren’t doing so well, that will be a natural process. Mark Ashton, our CEO, our board give me every encouragement, our chairman Michael O’Leary, to look at every aspect of what we’re doing and how can we make it better.''

Okay then, Paul. First thing you can do is to get rid of your gis a job mates and actually employ qualified people.

stiffy501 added 10:36 - Sep 18
Think perhaps bringing in an experienced coach could be beneficial to the team as there seems to be lack of experience in the coaching set up at the present.
For those calling for Paul Cooks head and George Burley to take over i seem to remember a couple of times when he and the team went through a lean spell David Sheepshanks bought in John Gorman and Stuart Houston and things turned round.

Wickets added 10:42 - Sep 18
Did i miss the reference to the subs mix up against AFC Wimbledon that seemed to cost us the win in that game !

mib added 11:38 - Sep 18
I am amazed that there has been no comments from our new owners. I wonder why.

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