|Ipswich Town 6 v 0 Doncaster Rovers|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 28th September 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Cook: Tonight is Probably the First Time We’ve Looked a Team
Tuesday, 28th Sep 2021 23:25
Boss Paul Cook felt the Blues probably looked like a team for the first time as they thrashed Doncaster 6-0 at Portman Road with Lee Evans hitting his first career hat-trick.
Rampant Town claimed their first home win of the campaign in style as the bottom of the table South Yorkshiremen were thoroughly outclassed.
“I always answer you as honestly as I can. I said that at the minute we’re fighting to become a team and I think tonight is probably the first time we’ve looked a team,” Cook said.
“Well-balanced, we had goals in the team, I think that’s clear. And before we got the third and goal there was a spell in the game when we were under a little bit of pressure and we were wobbling, 100 per cent.
“This team have got that resilience now where they carry that goal threat. I’m not so sure Lee Evans is supposed to be scoring the goals, mind!
“You’ve got to speak well about Doncaster, if you look at that weight of our squad, the power we have off the bench and you compare that to what [Rovers manager] Richie [Wellens] has, which is nearly not a lot. They’ve travelled to Plymouth on Saturday, where they’ve been beaten deep into stoppage time.
“And they’ve walked into us tonight, they’ve walked into us heavy. So we wish Richie well on the road home, he’ll get them lads up, their fight is not our fight, they are two totally different fights. They’ll lick their wounds and hopefully come back strong on Saturday.”
Asked about the impressive manner his side kicked-on from being 2-0 up, the Blues manager added: “Just keep going, it was just great for the supporters, it was great for my staff, myself and the staff to have a good night at Portman Road because obviously since we’ve come in people have wanted us to do well, the support we’ve felt throughout has been amazing, the receptions we get.
“You’ll always get the odd bit of stuff, but for everyone at the club tonight, I’m absolutely delighted.
“I’m quite a simple fella, I’m simple manager. We’ll be back in tomorrow and we’ll work very hard to go to Accrington and try and keep this little run going.”
Best Town have played in his time here? “I think when you leave the ground like I did after the Bolton game [which ended 5-2 to the Trotters] and you get so much criticism.
“I don’t really listen to it because I watch the team the same as everyone - we were weak, we were loose, we were hoping, we were everything you don’t like about the game.
“And then you look at us two weeks later and it shows you what work on the training ground does.
“For managers and coaches now, we all get criticised so quickly. I’m a great believer that managers and coaches need time, and especially when you’ve signed 19 or 20 players.
“So tonight our supporters have seen a glimpse of what we can do and they want to see more of it. So do I, so does [CEO] Mark [Ashton] and so does everyone else at the club.”
Cook wouldn’t be drawn into speaking in too much depth about specific individuals, including hat-trick hero Evans.
“Everyone, I’m just pleased,” he said. “I won’t go into plaudits, I’ll just be quite quiet. Again, my sympathies for Richie because management’s tough. They’ve had a tough trip to Plymouth and then you have to go to Ipswich on the Tuesday night. That can’t be right, can it? It can’t be right that a club like Doncaster have to do those two trips.
“But obviously we’re delighted for us and we move on to the next game, that’s what it’s about.”
Regarding Sam Morsy’s league debut as captain, he said: “I’m obviously a big Samy fan, you know that. I think great credit to the owners, the club, to Mark, we pursued him, we pursued a lot of players. I thought [Bersant] Celina looked fitter and stronger tonight, showed more, and you can go on.
“We hopefully think we’re going to get stronger, where that will lead us to none of us know. But one thing’s for sure, we’re going to work very hard.”
Quizzed on the importance of the clean sheet, Cook said: “Just keep working, that’s me. It’s my habit, it’s my staff, our messages won’t change, you won’t see us come in tomorrow and see lots of tinkering with shapes.
“Our great belief is in the players, trusting them and working hard in training. And this is the stage where you’re going to perform, and tonight we performed well.”
Can this big win and the current run of three matches unbeaten be the platform on which a successful season can be built? “You know with Ipswich, in the previous two years we’ve been top of the league. I think this year we’ve probably been nearly bottom of the league.
“None of us know, all we do know is we will work hard, our players won’t come up for breath, we will stay on our players as a staff, the players will stay on each other because if you want to be successful you’ve got to sacrifice and work, and that’s what we’ll do.”
Did he feel that someone would get a hiding at some point? “I never felt that because it’s not a nice word, is it? We’ve got Richie next door to me there [giving his press conference] and as a manager I walked off here being beaten by five [by Bolton]. My blood was absolutely boiling, I never slept for three nights. That’s footie.
“And then I think to myself ‘I’ve been brought here to make this club better, sort it out’. And I think at the minute, the really pleasing thing for me, the staff, for Mark is from that Bolton game we’ve seen real signs of solidity in the team.
“We know we’ve got quality, we all know we’ve got quality, that’s evident for everyone to see, but the work-rate, the desire and the solidity is the most important thing.”
He added: “I love seeing the fans happy, I’m a football fan, you know that. Until the day I leave the club I’ll only do my best, I can only ever promise people that. I’ll live with the lows, I’ll live with the highs and hopefully we can have a little bit of success. If we don’t it won’t be for the want of hard work, that’s for sure.”
He added: “I’ve appreciated the support of the local press and appreciated it from the supporters because my record here hasn’t been good. I get that, at the end of last year I was more disappointed than anyone that I couldn’t get them in the play-offs. It absolutely hurt me, shocked me, If I’m being truthful.
“Then we start this season and we don’t get a league win and we have a few disappointments, and as an experienced manager you revert to type. My type’s work hard on the training ground, simple as that.
“You get your rewards from your hard work on the pitch. If you look at tonight, we look like we’ve got players who look like they enjoy playing with each other. We look like we’re getting relationships built.
“But my commiserations go to Doncaster, they’ve had a tough four days. When you have to go to Plymouth, which is a helluva journey and then you get sent down to Ipswich, a team that’s spent a lot of money in the league compared to a team who haven’t and you’ve got to travel again, my commiserations go to them, they’ve walked into us tonight.
“Richie’s a good manager, he’s a proven manager at these levels and he’ll bring success to Doncaster, their fight is not ours.”
How will other teams look at this result? “I don’t care, you know me. I’ve got no interest. We’ll travel to Accrington to on Saturday, I know [Stanley manager] John [Coleman] really well, and I know he’ll be absolutely desperate to beat us.
“So whatever the expectations are, when you manage big clubs and you play for them, you have to perform. And tonight we’ve turned up.”
Rovers manager Wellens pledged to make financial recompense to his club's 168 fans who were at the game.
“It was embarrassing,” he told the Doncaster Free Press. “The players and myself will refund every single supporter that has come all the way to see that because that is not acceptable.
“I can only apologise, as a manager it is a lonely place to be, I’ll question myself and I’ll speak to [chief executive] Gavin [Baldwin] and [chairman] David [Blunt] tonight because I know I’m a good manager but the results aren’t good enough.
"I’ll text Gavin now and we’ll have a conversation. If we don’t feel that we’re going in the same direction then I only want the best for this club.
"I’ve made long term decisions which are hampering what we are doing now so as long as we’re on the same page. I’m raw at the moment. I just want what’s best for the club.”
He added: “Goals change games and the first goal is an absolute killer. We started the first 10 minutes of the game and we looked okay, they looked edgy, but we give them a leg up and it went from there.
“We’re in good possession and the pass is lost, it was lethargic, it was tired in every aspect of our game.
“The biggest kick in the teeth is that we’ve taken a massive backwards step. To go from Saturday and being unfortunate to that, the performance was not acceptable in any form.
“The players let themselves down massively tonight. I’ll take all the blame that comes my way but we need to be constructive now and move forward.
“I only want the best for this club. I love this club. I was successful as a player and I want to be as a manager but when you get performances like that, it’s difficult.
“I’m still raw at the minute, that’s the first time we’ve been overran, out-fought, they found too much space and that’s the first time I’ve felt like this. Tonight was a real low.”
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