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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.”

Photo: TWTD

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Telford_Blue added 23:39 - Sep 28
Great result. Onwards and upwards. So many great performances all over the park.
Cook out….. perhaps he’s just earned another match…. Accrington will be a much sterner test but will they be looking forward to playing us?
No doubt someone will be on decrying the win as not enough goals were left footed or they were scored at the wrong end and how could cook be so tactically inept. Or hopefully they’ll lie low for a bit, realise we were top at this point under lambert and went on to secure mid table safety!!

Gforce added 23:50 - Sep 28
Fantastic result, over the moon for Cookie and his coaches,they deserve it for all the hard work they are putting in.
Not sure whether Carroll was injured or not,but still a master-stroke bringing Evans back in alongside his old sparring partner ,Morsy, who was awesome tonight.Weve been crying for a midfielder of his ability for about 10 years.
As dolphinblue used to say,ignore all the neg crew,the cream will always rise to the top !!
And we've still got Edwards to come into the side as well,if he can get in .
As the song by yazzo goes ....The only way is up !!!

Will94 added 23:54 - Sep 28
Such a great performance tonight! Although Donny were very poor.
Morsey made such a difference as well. Really looking forward seeing how we match up against stronger opposition in the coming weeks.. I think this could be the start of a helluva run! COYB!

Gforce added 23:54 - Sep 28
Or was it yazoo?? 🤔

mojo added 00:13 - Sep 29
@Gforce. Neither it was Yazz and the plastic population

VanDusen added 00:17 - Sep 29
Neither. It was Yazz and the Plastic Population.

Edmundo added 00:22 - Sep 29
That was 3 years of pain wiped out by an amazing evening. Thank you, Mr Cook. Please sir, can we have some more?

ITFC_Esquire added 00:23 - Sep 29
And just like that, all of the clueless, plastic cook outers disappear into thin air.

miltonmowbray added 00:25 - Sep 29
Haha - surely a Brent homage there @Gforce?

Jugsy added 00:57 - Sep 29
I think 3 years of pain being wiped out is over doing it Edmundo (more years of pain still to be eradicated and one good performance doesn’t make a team) this is definitely what we needed to see. It’s certainly quiet on here from those anti-Cook, anti-new regime. Looking forward to seeing what they thought was wrong with tonight. Decent steps in the right direction, hope others see it that way!

JCBLUE added 06:49 - Sep 29
Best Town game for a very long time, the only way is up!

GB1 added 06:59 - Sep 29
Good win, less posts!
Now that to me shows many on here want us to lose so they can bang their drum behind a screen!
Who knows what Saturday may bring, no one knows, but after that result, I’ve woken up on hump day with morning glory, I’m a happy old dog.

jonnysuave added 07:22 - Sep 29
A really good performance albeit against a side who will likely continue to struggle this year.
This kind of performance always felt that it was coming. So strange that some football supporters haven't been able to see that.
The 15 or so years of poor or boring football had such a negative mental impact, leading to some of the strange and wilder posts on here and other ITFC focussed media.
If the result of improved performances is to dampen this negativity, it can only be a good thing for everyone involved in and around the club.

Suffolk_n_Proud added 08:17 - Sep 29
Cooks best post match interview so far, humble and a focus on hard work, i like it

Linkboy13 added 08:18 - Sep 29
Really loving this sixy football. Had me lucky underpants on last night they've been supporting me for years COYB.

chepstowblue added 08:23 - Sep 29
I don't think the Cook outers will disappear off the back of the first good performance under his reign. Of course doubt was creeping in, the table still looks terrible, but I'm ecstatic today and pleased for the boss. It needs to be followed up tho.The fans(myself inc)will travel to Accrington in arrogant and expectant mood.There is every chance we'll come back down to earth with a bump. It'll need a few more performances like last nights to convince me that our fortunes have changed. There is much reason for optimism though.

BurleysGloryDays added 08:28 - Sep 29
Well done Cooky! It was coming.

All being well the tiny minority will cheer up a bit now…

ChrisFelix added 09:09 - Sep 29
Shows that Paul Cooks formation does work.
So pleased for Evans after so much stick.
Over the years we have seen numerous midfield places dominate the game. So pleasing to witness our best midfield general since Jim

Tractorboy58 added 09:15 - Sep 29
Great Performance and a team well set up that fought for each other. I still feel that Cook's overall record is a concern, but if we can maintain this level of performance then happy days. The ability of these players is very impressive and I honestly think that none of last years squad are as good COYB !

Linkboy13 added 09:28 - Sep 29
Cook's overall record is good but not at Ipswich so far. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this squad is light years ahead of last season's. Whether Cook can mould them into a team that will work for each other is a different matter. You could buy the eleven best players in the world dosent guarantee they will gell as a team. So even if Cook fails here doesn't make him a bad manager.

Help added 09:29 - Sep 29
Agree with Cook, when Doncaster made their changes at half time it stifled the game. It took the injury at 60 minutes for Cook to change his team and then control of the game was attained again and the goals flowed. Nice to see Cook make system changes that altered the game. Another clean sheet, and plenty of goals to alter that goal diff figure. Goodness did the whole club need that win. The fans, the players, management. Well Done. I do feel sorry for Doncaster who look like it is going to be a long season for them.

Karlosfandangal added 09:30 - Sep 29
For all those who miss the negativity

6 wins in 25 not good enough Cook Out


Should that be

0 defeats in 3, 2 clean sheets 9 goals for 1 against, 7 points from 9

Hope we can sign Bonne and Celina in the Jan transfer window.

bobble added 09:55 - Sep 29
he has built a team that can hammer the bottom club but can they do the same to higher clubs ?

cat added 10:15 - Sep 29
WD P.C! Most of us could see that coming. We could hardly muster a shot on target last season and although we are bottom half our goals for column is looking awesome! As Cook rightly said there will be bumps in the road but the vibe is we are turning the corner.

Gforce added 10:29 - Sep 29
Mojo/Van dusen/Milton.........I knew I should of googled it,rather than rely on my very dodgy memory 😄

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