Cook: We've Done It Before, We Can Do It Again
Friday, 24th Sep 2021 11:11
“We've done it before, we can do it again,” manager Paul Cook says as the Blues go into back-to-back home games against Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster Rovers having ended their winless hoodoo with a 1-0 win at Lincoln City last week.
Asked whether, having got that first victory, it’s now good to have three games in eight days to help build up some momentum, Cook joked: “You guys must have a cliché book of questions to ask! For us managers, we have a cliché book of answers.
“It is what it is and I think everyone in the county enjoyed the win last week because we needed it.
“Everyone knows how much we needed it and now we've got it and what we did in winning is we put a performance together with a clean sheet, a goal away from home and seeing the game out very, very well, very professionally.
“So it's in us now. We know it's in us, we've done it before, we can do it again. But what you also respect is the opposition. Every week now you play against very organised, well-drilled teams.
“In my opinion, the coaching level of English football has gone very, very high quickly through St George's, through the coaching situation that lads go through.
“As a club now, you've got to make sure you turn up every week because if you don't, you will not win those games. And that's something as a club that we are, and we're trying to marry that into the players through the process.”
A win against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday would be the first time the Blues have won back-to-back fixtures since Cook took charge in March.
Reflecting on the opportunity the two home games - Doncaster visit on Tuesday - give his side, Cook said it's important not to get too far ahead of yourself.
“You have to be careful how much you set yourself up for," he continued. “You know, throughout your career any manager will always tell you if you ever put three wins together in a week, the world will look a totally different place.
“For us, when you've got over one hurdle, the most important one is the next hurdle. Do not get too far ahead of yourself, we've prepared as well as we can for Sheffield Wednesday, we prepared really well for Lincoln and then we'll prepare for Doncaster on Tuesday.
“So it's very much one step at a time and we know we're going to meet a strong opponent tomorrow, but Lincoln were strong, Bolton were strong, Cheltenham were strong, Burton were strong – they're all strong now.
“So the most important thing is how we perform tomorrow in front of our own fans, can we give them that first [home] win of the season? If we can do that, it'll make everybody have such a feel-good factor around the club, and that's what we want to try and do.”
Asked what difference the win at Lincoln has made, Cook said: “It’s always tough for football managers nowadays because how long does it take to get messages to players? How long does it take to build a good team? How long do lads need playing together?
“And they’re questions now that the coaches or managers can’t really answer anymore because it’s the way the game is.
“As everyone knows, when you’re one of the favourites and you go six league games without winning, the reality is that pressure will grow until you win.
“In my world, I try and deal with pressure as well as I can. My pressure is to make the team play like I want them to play and I believe that they can play.
“I think apart from the Bolton game, and certainly up to half-time we competed very well with Bolton.
“It was the first real sign of worry for everyone because we capitulated after half-time. And with all due respect, throughout my career, my teams haven’t really capitulated.
“But I look back to that game where Christian Walton was making his debut, George Edmundson’ was making his debut, how can we just expect these guys to go into a team and know everything we want?
“It’s always going to be tinged with a bit of difficulty. I just keep trying to get the performances to be correct and make the supporters happy and normally when your supporters are happy, everyone’s happy. That’s what we’re working towards.”
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