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Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Shrewsbury Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 9th October 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Cook: We've Got Really Good Options
Friday, 8th Oct 2021 12:46

Town host second-bottom Shrewsbury at Portman Road on Saturday looking to put last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Accrington behind them. The Blues will be without forward Bersant Celina as he is away with Kosovo but Cook says he knows the team he is going to field.

The Blues had appeared to have turned a corner after three games unbeaten, the third a 6-0 home walloping of Doncaster Rovers but were brought firmly back down to earth by the loss at the Wham Stadium last Saturday.

But on Tuesday a Town side featuring 11 changes from the team which started against Doncaster and Accrington comfortably won 2-0 at Gillingham in the Papa John’s Trophy and the Blues have now lost only one of their last five in all competitions, winning three.

Cook hints that he probably won’t stray too far from the XI which started the thrashing of Doncaster and the defeat at Accrington, although he is forced into one change with Bersant Celina away with Kosovo.

“We’ve got really good options,” Cook said when asked whether he has decided who to field in the on-loan Dijon forward’s place.

“I think after the disappointing performance at Accrington, it’s really hard to make changes because if you leave one or two out, it’s like you’re blaming one or two for the team performance.

“Obviously with Bersant going on international duty, we have a clear option to make one change.

“We know the team, the team’s already known and we’ll go and work as hard as we can. The brutal reality for us all is that the season is long for everyone and squad depth is so important.

“Every time you get an opportunity to go on the pitch like Tuesday night, where Pigott and Chaplin both get good goals, we have a lot of good individual performances, [you have to stake a claim]. We never spoke about that after the West Ham defeat at home.

“And all of a sudden as the club’s grown and built, the lads are learning that when your opportunity comes you must take it if you want to stake first-team claims.

“Within that, if you’re playing in the first team, to hold your shirt, you’ve got to have a level of performance and unfortunately for a lot of us we all dropped below that at Accrington.

“But that was off the back of probably a three-game run we were delighted with. By the time you want to make changes as a manager, you’ve also got to temper that with what’s the correct and proper decision.”

Shrewsbury have had a tough start to the season and are 23rd in the League One table on eight points, two points and four places behind the Blues.

One big positive, however, has been the return to the dugout of manager Steve Cotterill, who was hospitalised for 33 and then 16 days earlier this year due to Covid-pneumonia.

“Great to see Steve back,” Cook said. “We played then up there at the end of the year and I had a really good chat with Steve [who watched that match from the directors’ box].

“He’d really been knocked for six by the Covid, he really, really had and it’s great for Steve and his family that he’s back on the touchline, that he’s back up and running.

“He’s a really good football guy, he’s had good success at football clubs where he’s been. His Shrewsbury team have been built now a little bit in the summer, similar to us. They’re probably finding their way still a little bit.

“I’m sure Steve will be quite pleased with some of the performances and I’m sure he’s probably disappointed with one or two of the results. They’re certainly a big threat to us tomorrow.”

Cook, who will be looking to record back-to-back wins for the first time as Town manager, seems likely to field the same team which started against Doncaster and Accrington aside from Celina.

That would see Vaclav Hladky in goal, Janoi Donacien and Matt Penney at full-back and George Edmundson and Cameron Burgess at centre-half.

In midfielder, Sam Morsy will skipper alongside Lee Evans with Scott Fraser on the left and Wes Burns on the right.

Conor Chaplin seems likely to replace Celina in the number 10 role with Macauley Bonne out to add to his eight goals - seven in his last six matches - as the lone striker.

Kyle Edwards is likely to play a part from the bench, while Idris El Mizouni and Louie Barry will hope to have won a place among the subs with their displays at Gillingham.

Shrewsbury boss Cotterill says he thinks he knows the Town XI that will be facing his side.

“I think we have an idea of their team and it won't change dramatically even though they have lots of players because Paul Cook has already been through that and made changes,” he told his club's official site.

“We could probably guess eight or nine of their players and we have to work on the theory of what we think their team will be.

“First and foremost, you have to work on strengths and weaknesses all around the pitch. The lads will know every player's strengths and weaknesses.

“By the time we complete our preparation on Friday, everyone will know what they have to do. That's not just on the strikers, that's on the right-back, central midfield and everywhere else.

“A few of our lads would have played against some of their lads before so they will have an idea of what they're coming up against.

“Ipswich is a fantastic club and one of those places to go and play football. They have fantastic fans and it's one of those grounds where you expect a good atmosphere. It's good for our lads to go there and play, similar to Bolton last week.”

Cotterill is waiting on only one fitness concern ahead of the game: “The only other lad who has a knock is [left-back] George Nurse and we'll have to see how he is tomorrow morning. Other than that, everyone is OK.”

Defender Elliott Bennett could miss out following the death of his father this week.

Historically, the Blues have had much the better of matches between the two sides, winning 14 games (11 in the league), losing three (one) and drawing 10 (seven).

Away from home this season, Shrewsbury are without a win having lost four and drawn one.

They have lost their last two in the league, a 2-1 defeat at Bolton last weekend following a home reverse to Wycombe by the same scoreline, but beat the Wolves U21s 3-1 at home in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday.

The Shropshire side have won one of their last six in the league, a 2-1 home victory over AFC Wimbledon late last month.

Town are unbeaten against the Shrews in 10 games stretching back to an old Second Division match at Gay Meadow in January 1987 when Bobby Ferguson’s side were defeated 2-1.

In May, Town’s final away game of 2020/21 at Montgomery Waters Meadow - a fixture which had been postponed in an hour before its scheduled start due to a frozen pitch in February - ended in their ninth 0-0 draw of the season.

Clear-cut chances were rare at both ends with Troy Parrott forcing home keeper Harry Burgoyne into a couple of saves and the Irishman and Norwood both shot over for the Blues, while sub Dan Udoh looped a header onto the top of the Town cross-bar at the other.

At Portman Road in November last year, sub Jack Lankester netted a winner seven minutes into injury time to see the Blues to a fortunate 2-1 comeback victory over Shrewsbury.

Oliver Norburn’s fourth-minute penalty - the first goal conceded by Town at home in the league in 2020/21 - had given the Shrews a 1-0 half-time lead with the Blues very much under par.

The game appeared to going nowhere until Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s bizarre 75th-minute own goal, before Lankester’s close-range header grabbed an undeserved three points for Town.

Jon Nolan and Toto Nsiala followed their former Shrews manager Paul Hurst, his assistant Chris Doig and other members of his staff to Portman Road in the summer of 2018 having been part of the side which had reached the League One play-offs the previous season.

Nolan moved to the Shrews in June 2017 and made 55 starts in his one season there, scoring 10 goals.

Nsiala signed in January 2017 and made 79 starts in his 18 months with the Shrews, scoring four times.

Former Blues loan centre-half Matthew Pennington joined Shrewsbury on loan from Everton in January, a switch which was made permanent in the summer.

Pennington, 26, made 31 starts and scored one goal while with the Blues during the 2018/19 campaign.

Saturday’s referee is Will Finnie from Luton, who has shown 13 yellow cards and one red in nine games so far this season.

Finnie’s one previous Town match was the 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over Bristol Rovers at Portman Road on the opening day of last season in which he booked Luke Woolfenden, Andre Dozzell and one of the visitors.

Squad from: Holy, Hladky, Donacien, Vincent-Young, Penney, Woolfenden, Nsiala, Edmundson, Burgess, Morsy, Harper, El Mizouni, Fraser, Burns, Chaplin, Aluko, Edwards, Bonne, Pigott, Barry, Norwood, Jackson.

Photo: TWTD

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itfchorry added 12:51 - Oct 8
Play two upfront

Orraman added 13:41 - Oct 8
In my youth thousands of young girls screamed at Beatles gigs. Later, middle aged women used to strip off their knickers and throw them onstage to Tom Jones. Now around 18000 stalwart supporters of Ipswich Town stand up at 2.57pm to acclaim a man who, in little more than 6 months has taken us from the fringes of the playoff zone to just above the relegation zone.
I guess this is how Cook gets his kicks, his three minutes in the spotlight. Funny how Sir Bobby, an infinitely more successful manager than Cook will ever be never felt the need to embarrass himself this way nor for that matter any other manager I can think of world wide in football. So be there in time for his grand entrance tomorrow but even if you do feel the need to cheer him, please keep your Y - Fronts on

ringwoodblue added 13:43 - Oct 8
Pigott and Chaplin deserve to start with Bonne. I feel another big win is on the cards.

warwickblue added 14:34 - Oct 8
Orraman, I mentioned Cook's grand entrance a couple of weeks ago. It's embarrassing at best. As you say, in nearly sixty years of watching football I've never seen another manager prance onto the pitch ahead of his team to milk the applause of the stadium.

BerkshireBlue78 added 14:36 - Oct 8
Every game is a must win, but this is a new 'must' in must win. COYB

yorkieblue62 added 14:41 - Oct 8
People seem to forget that Sir Bob was sacked by Fulham & then spent 3/4 years just above the relegation zone with us before rightly taking his place amongst football legends. Some of the cheap jibes against Cook are just ridiculous. And Bobby did embarrass himself in some of his post match interviews!!

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 14:44 - Oct 8
I don't mind too much PC's dramatic entrance. I think he's just trying to inject positivity and connect with the fans. What worries me more is Shrewsbury already know how we're going to play.

DifferentGravy added 14:51 - Oct 8
Hopefully the performance will be significantly better than last Saturday. However, if we are struggling offensively.....then do something about it with enough time left on the clock. Use the 'good options' on the bench and go for the win.

Cakeman added 14:59 - Oct 8
Well said Yorkieblue62. I like to see our manager trying to create all the positivity he can.
PS I’m really pleased to Steve Cotterill back up and running again. I always liked him as manager and I’m sure he will just be grateful he is still able to do just that.

Barty added 15:11 - Oct 8
I would love to see 2 up front but I don't think it will happen

johnwarksshorts added 15:30 - Oct 8
A must win for me now, Cooks had time, the squad he has assembled must rank as one of the best in the league. Let's kick on and climb this division.

Jesney_Havoc added 15:30 - Oct 8
No we haven’t. He’s a clown.

Linkboy13 added 15:50 - Oct 8
We won't play two up front Bonne works much better as the lone striker as it's been proved with his goal tally. Mind you he's the only striker at the club who's capable of doing it because of his physicality and work rate.

TimmyH added 16:12 - Oct 8
Lucky for Cook we've had a relatively easy start to the season or god knows where we'd be!?! the 11th game we would have played both the bottom 2 teams and toughest side so far MK who are 6th.

yorkieblue62 added 16:27 - Oct 8
Timmy H you only have to look at Portsmouth thrashing Sunderland to see the problem with that kind of analysis. Lets see what we do against the top teams, then you can put the boot in if its justified

Monkey_Blue added 16:42 - Oct 8
Hang on!! So he hadn’t mentioned to players or they are all to thick to know you get in the side and stay in it by playing well? He acts like he’s introducing a brand new concept to football. Jeez he talks b’llks

grinch added 16:51 - Oct 8
For a man who will not let his own media have any snippets of info prior to a match its like mmmmm your secret is worse than father Christmas or the tooth fairy all other managers know who where and worse of all exactly how we will play. It has only been 1 Doncaster Manager who did not line his team up to counteract the secret formation Cooks comments this week as bizaar at best. I am hoping that we get first goal and build on some results if it is close concern is there us no plan b from what I have witnessed this season just hope Shrewsbury are as bad as Doncaster and are not up for it like Accrington . Hopeful of another town win but not confident which is poor really but not convinced as yet of the new era

Bazza8564 added 17:12 - Oct 8
Getting really tired of people who think we play one up front.

When we have the ball we have four up top and two supporting full backs and two midfielders, effectively a 2 4 4. When we don't have the ball we drop to one up top but when you've not got the ball does that really matter?

Tired of reading the same ignorant negativity from people who don't know the job and couldn't find anything better to do with their lives than come on here and moan.

Cook has completely restructured the club, we all wanted Lambert and Evans out and we got our way. Talk of us getting promoted last season? FFS where do you think that side would be now? It failed us for 2 full years. Give the guys a chance over a season, and if you've really got all the ideas that make a difference, get a job and stop whingeing when you have no credentials to do so.

Yorkieblue nails it about Robson, it took him years but with patience he came good. And in our cup winning season we only finished a couple above the relegation zone too.


TimmyH added 17:28 - Oct 8
@yorkieblue - you'd hardly say Portsmouth are a bad side, they've just had an average start but anybody on their day can more or less beat a majority of other sides in this league, it's consistency that we need!

Amazing how people still keep referring to Robson when he first started at Town and his slow start back in 69'...I think the football climate has quite radically changed since then with far more pressure put on managers simply due to the money involved, you just cannot compare.

DifferentGravy added 17:34 - Oct 8
Bazza8564 - Clearly havent been watching all the games. In the last league game the commentary team and post match analysis were bemoaning the fact we spent the whole game banging it long to Bonne as he was the only player to aim for.....the midfield were sitting back and the full backs werent overlapping at all.....fairly certain thats a solid 4-5-1 and not the 2-4-4 you claim. Maybe not everyone on here is qualified to give their your eyes.....fairly sure Mathie and Mills are at least.

Pot and kettle.....youve come on here to have a moan about the moaners lol

Bert added 17:36 - Oct 8
Nice bloke Cotterill. Just hope we are on the front foot from the start and don’t give the Shrews a sniff. I can understand why Orraman has taken some stick for his remarks about Cook’s match day entrance but he does have a point. Better for Cook to wander out after the team. Ok, Cook’s entrance adds to the atmosphere but given where we are it is inappropriate. Take all the plaudits for assembling a good squad but until we are consistently good I would rather Cook applauds the crowd and not the other way round.

BossMan added 18:25 - Oct 8
Ignore no ambition Bazza while him and his mates clap one defeat after another. They will be even more chirpy after we coast past the Shrews but hopefully the majority will continue to demand promotion this season. Someone invite a Newcastle boo boy on here so we can hear how long he'll give the next manager and if he'll put up with a 20% win ratio

shakytown added 18:37 - Oct 8
you can have all the bloody options in the world Cook but if you have not got the desire to win and the heart for it you will keep failing like you and this soft lot are.

therein61 added 18:54 - Oct 8
If you make a couple of changes after a defeat(it doesn't mean you are pointing the finger) it's what football management and more importantly man management is all about conveyed in the correct manner at the end of the day, if results are not good enough it's the managers head on the line not the players we have the players in the building the squad appears to be a good positive bunch we just need consistency.

Bazza8564 added 21:06 - Oct 8
Differentgravy, yet to miss one this season.

Yes I’m proudly moaning about the Moaners it’s our job to get behind the team not to pretend we could run it better. And as fas as mills and Mathie are concerned, that sounds to me like you’ve been listening to BBC Suffolk and not even bothered to go yourself.

If you think having two big CF in the side and abandoning playing through the middle or down the wings with high balls thumped towards two big guys you should maybe get Whymark and Bellfitt back…..

Enjoy The commentary tomorrow, I’ll be at the game….

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