Cook: Accrington Was a Harsh Lesson
Friday, 8th Oct 2021 11:35
Town boss Paul Cook says last week’s 2-1 defeat at Accrington was a harsh lesson that if you don’t turn up and work hard enough, you’ll get beaten.
The defeat at the Wham Stadium was particularly hard to take coming as it did off the back of the 6-0 home win against Doncaster, the third of three games unbeaten.
Asked whether he had had to strike a balance in training between addressing what went wrong against Stanley and not going too overboard after progress had been made in previous games, Cook said: “We’re 10 league games in, it’s a stage of the season where I always think the league table takes shape.
“The reality for us is that we feel we’ve probably left a couple of points out there that we should have got, I’m sure a lot of other teams say that.
“But we’re also respectful of the ground that we’ve got to make up. For us, it’s about learning every day.
“It’s about working harder every day and I think the big learning curve for Accrington more than anything was that if one team on the pitch wants to work a lot harder than the other team, the reality is you’ll find yourself in trouble, and that was a very disappointing sort of stat to come out of the game.”
Does he feel things are coming together, is he feeling more confident about the group of players? “If you look at last week, for example, we left Portman Road on the Tuesday and we’ve won 6-0 and we left Accrington on the Saturday and we’ve been beaten 2-1.
“Us managers, we’re not mathematicians or people that are so much cleverer. I think after the three-game run, the lads had shown us that the talent within the group to win football matches is clearly there.
“After Accrington, we had a harsh lesson that if you travel on the road and you don’t turn up, you will get beaten.
“So for us now, how many Accringtons are you allowed a season? That’s always a big question for a manager. How many disappointing performances can you put in?
“Our biggest thing for us is travelling and turning up, and unfortunately we didn’t do that at Accrington, so we have to wait to go to Cambridge to look at that one again. The brutal truth for us tomorrow is that we’ve got a really tough game against Shrewsbury at Portman Road.”
Town’s match is one of only four in League One this weekend due to postponements due to international calls and a victory could see the Blues climb five places to 14th.
“Everyone wants to get to where they want to be very quickly,” Cook reflected. “There are 46 games in a season, I’ve said at every club I’ve been at, the league table doesn’t tell lies after 46 games.
“As a club, of you want to get promoted, there are points tallies out there that you’ve got to get to.
“For us, it’s about the next game, it’s about repetition, it’s about working hard, it’s about learning and it’s about being better. And they’re the factors that contribute to a team and a club becoming better. It’s not being reactive to results in terms of what you believe in goes out of the window because of the result.
“For us we were delighted with the Sheffield Wednesday performance, we thought we played really well, we were really disappointed to draw.
“We went into a Doncaster game where probably everything’s gone our way and then we’ve had a crash land at Accrington.
“If you look around the league and the divisions, Doncaster beat MK Dons on the Saturday when no one gave them a chance.
“Sunderland went to Portsmouth and lost 4-0 when Portsmouth hadn’t won for seven or eight games.
“The league is littered with this and it’s the ones who stay mentally strong and keep working at what they’re doing and turn up more often than not, that will get to where they want to be.”
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