|Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Shrewsbury Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 9th October 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Cook: There's a Sloppiness That Comes Into the Team
Saturday, 9th Oct 2021 18:41
Manager Paul Cook was delighted to see his side win back-to-back games for the first time since he took charge of the club as they defeated Shrewsbury 2-1 at Portman Road, but was less than impressed by the sloppiness in the second half of the first half.
Conor Chaplin gave Town the lead in the 23rd minute during a dominant opening from the Blues. However, Town allowed the visitors into the game and Shaun Whalley levelled on 28.
The Blues improved after the break and Macauley Bonne netted the winner in the 55th minute.
“I come in front in you all the time, I’ll always be as honest as I can,” Cook said afterwards. “For 20 minutes it was probably as good as I’ve seen us play this year, everything about us looked good.
“We score and then I don’t know what goes through their minds for the next 10 minutes. We speak about scoring and the importance of scoring again, playing in their half, being aggressive, getting on second balls, and there’s just a sloppiness around us that comes into the team.
“That was apparent at Accrington last week, that was apparent in the second half of the first half if you like today.
“Great credit to the players, we’ve won, we’ve dug a result out. Our fans leave the stadium elated and I can’t thank them enough, the support is unreal, the stadium’s rocking, but as a manager I want to enjoy watching our team play and today I’m back to not enjoying them.”
Is that down to mentality? “One hundred per cent, it’s mentality. One hundred per cent. You can’t be good and then just decide to say ‘Well, OK, we’re doing OK in the game, let’s go and not be as good’.
“Football’s about habits, the best teams have the best habits. It’s about repetition, it’s about mentality and at the minute we’ve got a really nice group of lads, trust me, they’re really good lads in there that are good players, but at the minute that mentality to be a good team is not quite there yet and it’s something that we’ve got to work really hard on.”
Having regained the lead in the second half, did Cook feel his side managed the situation better?
“After what I said to them, they had no choice at half-time, I wouldn’t have given a goal away if I was them!” he said.
“Football’s about mentality, you’ve watched Ipswich for a lot longer than I have. You probably turn up now and when we score you probably think ‘The next 10 minutes are going to be fun’.
“And you look, and I’m not being disrespectful, any single player making a small error is not the error that counts, but it contributes to the bigger picture. And every single one of them’s got to tighten up.”
Asked what the mood in the dressing room was like at half-time, Cook said: “Not very good. But it is what it is. I’m delighted that we’ve won. Back-to-back wins, that’s great.
“The league is what it is, but I respect all the opposition we play, it’s very much about what Ipswich Town team is going to turn up at the minute and that concerns me because throughout my managerial career, I’ve always enjoyed watching my teams because I know what they’re going to produce.
“We don’t always win, I get it, I can lose, I’ve got no problem losing. I didn’t enjoy the way we lost at Accrington last week and I didn’t enjoy the second half of the first half today.”
Asked about Bonne, who took his goals tally for his hometown club to nine and is now League One’s joint-top scorer with Morecambe’s Cole Stockton, Cook said: “I’m delighted for Macauley, but we win as a team. I come out here all the time, the season is a long season, managers have to come out and answer questions from you, after every performance there’s a debate about what you’re going to do.
“At the minute I just see us as a brand new set of players that are still learning and when you see us we show signs of being really good and stepping up and then we show a couple of signs that we don’t like, and they’re the signs that we concentrate on.”
While Cook was relatively downbeat, the Blues have won back-to-back games for the first time under his management and they have won four and drawn one of their last six.
The result - and the lack of action elsewhere due to international postponements - means the Blues are up to 14th, six points off the play-offs and 10 points from the top two.
“The Sky fella’s evacuated from me, he’s given me a little break for a couple of weeks, hasn’t he?” Cook laughed in reference to some questioning he saw as over-critical following the 5-2 home defeat to Bolton.
“It’s footie lads. I got brought in here to do a job, I love my job, you know me, I don’t get dead down when we get beaten, my team is to make the team better with the coaches and the staff, that’s what we do.
“But you’ve got to work hard. Your habits when you want to be successful have to be very strong and consistent. Our habits are like a volume you can wind up and down, and that’s got to change, that’s got to become more consistent.”
He added: “We got into great situations in the game where we’ve worked hard on how we will hurt them, changing play, moving their midfield three about and then some of the decisions we make we help the opposition.
“And by the way I’m not being disrespectful to Shrewsbury, Steve [Cotterill]’s been a top manager, he is a top manager, these are good players we’re playing against, but after 23 minutes you’d expect us to go on and win 2-0 or 3-0, let’s have it right, we looked comfortable.
“Yet you go in at half-time and the game’s in the balance. That shouldn’t have been like that today.”
Does he believe there’s a lot more to come from the group? “Let’s see. My only thing is how hard we’ll work. I just told the players that in no uncertain terms.
“Our fans, it’s great to see the stadium like that for the last two games, the last time I walked off here was against Bolton [prior to that] and I actually jogged down the tunnel, I’ve got to tell you straight.
“You can see how much it means to our supporters and our club and to everyone. I’ve got the lucky job of trying to help them achieve what we want. I guarantee we will work harder and we will be better.”
Regarding the injury which forced left-back Matt Penney off in the second half, Cook said: “His hamstring was tightening and with these hamstrings we had an opportunity if Toto [Nsiala] goes on at least we know if a few balls come into the box late on that we have to defend that we can do it. Hopefully Matt will be OK.”
“Once lads go back out [after half-time] you need a couple of things to go your way,” Cotterill told the Shropshire Star.
“We certainly don't feel it was a corner, we know we've got to defend the corner better, but if it's not a corner then it's not a corner.
“Elliott can keep that in play, so why would he let it roll out if it wasn't a corner? We wouldn't do that, we could keep it out or get a throw-in.
“It's not a corner and it's happened twice this season, the crowd have got them back in the game today, they've put pressure on the referee and he's ended up buckling on that.
“They buckled when it was a penalty and we don't get a penalty, there's no coincidence with that being at their end.
“I'm not sure but, just looking at the camera angles you've got, it looks a penalty to me.
“Luke Leahy says his [George Edmundson’s] shinpad has caught him. When he's being that specific, I trust Luke. I ask them to give me the truth so when I come to you guys I'm not telling you a bare-faced lie.
“We feel really hard done by with that, but that's what happens when you come away to a big club, those fine margin moments, when they don't go your way, we end up losing the game 2-1 when we haven't deserved to lose the game.”
Reflecting on the display overall, he added: “It was probably patchy. I thought we were very well organised up until they scored their goal and then we haven't defended a cross very well.
“They've ended up with a free header for the goal and Marko makes a save and they get the rebound, we're not happy with that part of the first part of the game.
“Other than that we thought we got to a stage where it was almost like they were running out of ideas even though it was that early in the game.
“We were quite happy with our start, getting into the game, it was almost like when they scored it kickstarted us again with a real good goal by Shaun and we go in at half-time.
“We're slightly disappointed with the [second] goal but we needed to do more of the same in the second half and we've not managed to do that.
“I felt the midfield lost a little bit of the shape in the first half that worked so well, not that any of them did anything bad, but it wasn't quite as tight or organised.”
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