|Ipswich Town 1 v 1 Sheffield Wednesday|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 25th September 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Cook: Our Supporters Can See Signs We Are Growing
Saturday, 25th Sep 2021 18:21
Town boss Paul Cook felt Blues fans could see signs that his side is growing despite requiring a last-gasp Conor Chaplin equaliser to draw 1-1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
Chaplin, one of the 19 summer signings, tapped home after stand-in skipper Macauley Bonne had robbed Sheffield Wednesday keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell having hidden behind the on-loan Burnley man as he looked to kick out of his area.
“I was delighted, I’ve got to tell you that, if I’d been sitting here after losing 1-0 it would have been a really bitter pill to swallow,” Cook said.
“I thought it was an excellent football match, I thought it was a great occasion, a fantastic crowd in, both sets of supporters played their part in a fantastic atmosphere and the game was always on a knife-edge.
“You felt that tension in the game, you felt it on the sidelines. Sheff Wed have got some excellent players, Ipswich have got some excellent players and I think for me, I’m probably biased, but I thought we probably deserved to win, and I know I might be a little bit biased with that.”
He added: “You’ve seen now, it’s eight league games we’ve played, coming from behind at home to get a point against a very strong team, the character, I’ve questioned certain aspects of our squad at the minute, and I think our supporters can see signs that we are growing, we are getting stronger and that’s there for everyone to see.”
Regarding Town’s goal, Cook said: “He nearly missed it, I believe, Conor. He was telling me he’s scuffed it. I’d have never spoken to him again in my life if he’d missed, I can tell you that!
“I’m made up for Conor, he’s had Covid, he’s come in, he’s not fit, he’s had a couple of starts, he did his hamstring and he’s desperate to get going.
“And for players, they want to have relationships with the supporters, and those moments make them.
“Conor has now made that little moment with those Ipswich fans and the celebrations you saw there were great and it was great to be around Portman Road to see the emotion of a happy Portman Road rather than what we’ve seen over the last few weeks.”
Regarding Bonne’s role and that of Scott Fraser, he added: “Macauley’s a constant threat, it’s what he does. As a manager there, you’re looking at subs we can make, and it’s hard because you don’t want to take Macauley off. He’s our goal threat and as it proved in the game, he was the goal threat.
“Scott’s a good player, again Scott was one that I was looking to take off. But you’re loathe to take your good players off because we have got so many of them, but we’re also wanting to bring freshness on and give everyone a chance.
“They’re just decisions as a manager you have to make and I’m sure tonight it looks a good one, next week it’ll probably not look so great.”
Cook was most pleased that the Blues gave up few chances to the Owls having conceded five times in their last home match against Bolton.
“Yeah, I think by the time they left the game with Bolton, everyone would want to play us, that’s how I looked at us,” he said. “‘The gaps are there, if you run through those gaps you’ll score goals’.
“You don’t see us running back to our own goal a lot now out of uncomfortable positional play. The lads have worked very hard on the training ground and they deserve a pat on the back for that.”
Did he feel Town needed to take something from the game to build on last week’s first win of the season at Lincoln? “You’ve just got to keep going. We’ll get beaten at home when we probably least expect it, we’ll win away when we might be under par, but it’s football and I’ve seen it for long enough.
“For me, team performances are huge. We didn’t give up a lot of chances in the game today, we don’t look open at the minute, we look quite solid and within that we know we’ve got goals in the team, so long may it continue.”
He added: “I’m pleased with us, genuinely. I’ll sit in front of you sometimes and you can see the tension in my body or my body language, I enjoyed the game today. As a manager on the sidelines today I enjoyed watching our team play.
“I saw late on when we made some mistakes, Matt Penney made a couple of mistakes. Matt was excellent today, for 80 minutes of the game he was absolutely superb. And that’s where the fitness and the repetition and what you do is important.
“I’m pleased with the point, Sheff Wed are a fantastic football club in a great league and I thought it was a great advert for League One.”
Asked the reasons why he handed Bonne the captaincy, he said: “I just felt because of Macauley and the way he is, Samy Morsy is going to be available on Tuesday night, Lee Evans has got a hamstring injury and he’s out, so the reality is we’re looking at it again on Monday.
“I just thought it was the least Macauley deserves, he’s an absolute pleasure to be around, he’s just a fantastic young man, he’s a credit to himself and our football club while he’s with us.
“I don’t think Lee’s [going to be out] particularly long, it was just disappointing. But I’ve got to say I thought Idris was excellent, I really did and I’m so pleased for Idris because he had a Papa John’s Trophy game playing out of position to accommodate other players, he’s worked so hard behind the scenes and he got an opportunity today and I felt he took his opportunity really, really well, so well done Idris.
“Again, you see the effect Rekeem [Harper] has when he runs forward in the last minute of the game, he has a big, big chance and I just felt that I want Rekeem to be looking at possibly different positions on the pitch for us, and I felt with the emergence of Samy on Tuesday possibly that Idris deserved that chance, he’s waited so patiently and long. If he hadn’t have got the chance today, the reality is he mightn’t have got one.
“Now he’s had a big one and he’s showed everyone at the club that he can play for this team. Well done Idris.”
Is Morsy champing at the bit to finally make his league debut for the club following his suspension hangover from his time with Middlesbrough.
“I think Samy’s always champing,” Cook continued. “He’s a really good lad, he’s captained all my clubs I’ve been at with him, so I know Samy inside out, he knows us inside out, he’s a competitor, he’s a winner and he’ll want to win desperately for Ipswich Town Football Club.
“We’ll look at that situation tomorrow, I think all the lads that have been involved today deserve a big pat on the back, I think it was a great spectacle at Portman Road, it was a really good football match and I think the supporters from both teams can go home quite content.”
Cook revealed that winger Kyle Edwards is set to be available for Tuesday’s game after his injury, as is Toto Nsiala, who has been out with a hamstring problem.
Asked why he waited until the 75th minute to make his subs, Cook said: “I thought we were playing well, I was enjoying us. Did we really look like scoring? Possibly that could be questioned, I would suggest that would be fair. Did we look very comfortable in the game where you felt we would get a big chance? That’s how I felt.
“And as a manager I think you learn to be patient but also when you’ve got Joe Pigott, Conor Chaplin, those type of lads on the bench, you’re always itching to get them on because you know their energy levels will be right on and the desire to score, and that was great for Conor.”
He added: “I thought it was a good game, a genuinely good football match, probably both teams will be happy with a point I suppose because both teams are going to get stronger without a shadow of a doubt. There were some good players on the pitch, for both teams.”
Wednesday manager Darren Moore wasn't too hard on keeper Peacock-Farrell for his error.
“What’s happened has happened but we are 100 per cent behind him,” he said
“He has been absolutely terrific in everything that he has been doing, there have been one or two things that he thought he would have done better at but he can only learn from them.
“If you analyse his game he has been absolutely superb, he’s been absolutely tops.”
He added: “We talk about the first half and Macauley Bonne has gone straight through and he has saved us. The positives far outweigh the negatives and he has been absolutely terrific.
“The crowd is noisy and deafening. It’s happened and it won’t be the last [time], he’s a top, top goalkeeper who I firmly believe will play in the Premier League and play regularly in the Premier League, that’s how I highly rate this young man.”
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